Public servants ‘insulted’ by 5,8% increase offer NEEDS that cannot be ignored andgt;andgt;

2015-05-07 06:00
More than 1?000 picketers from the seven Cosatu Public Service Unions protested at the offices of the Provincial Treasury  in Pietermaritzburg. 

More than 1?000 picketers from the seven Cosatu Public Service Unions protested at the offices of the Provincial Treasury in Pietermaritzburg. PHOTOS: JONATHAN BURTON

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PUBLIC servants, members of the public service unions affiliated to Cosatu, threatened­ a full-blown strike if they did not receive the 10% wage hike they want.

Thousands took to the streets in a peaceful and well-organised march to ­demand salary increases and extended paid leave.

To show they mean business, Cosatu banded­ together its six public service unions in a massive protest on Chief Albert Luthuli­ Street outside the KwaZulu-Natal Treasury.

Members from the National ­Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu), the police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru­), the ­Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa), the South ­African State and Allied Workers’ Union (Sasawu), the Public and Allied Workers’ Union of South Africa­ (Pawusa) joined Cosatu in a flurry of red T-shirts yesterday.

According to their attendance list, more than 5 000 members from all unions were expected to attend the protest which demanded a 10% salary increase, a R1 500 housing allowance, six months’ paid maternity leave and 10 days’ paid paternity leave.

Along with protesters who marched in Pretoria­, the group gathered outside the KZN Treasury building to display their dissatisfaction and anger at the government department in holding funds they feel should be allocated to them.

Popcru provincial secretary Kwenza Nxele said the union had discovered that the main cause of their problems lies at Treasury.

“The government cannot ­function without public servants and we have needs that cannot be ignored.”

Sadtu provincial secretary Nomarshiya Caluza­ said the offered increase of 5,8% and R1 200 housing allowance is “an insult to the workers”.

“We are ready for a full-blown strike,” Caluza­ said.

“This is just the beginning.”

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