Cape Town - Cosatu demanded a 10% public sector wage increase and R1 500 housing allowance across the board in a memorandum of labour demands tabled at the National Department of Finance, Treasury and the National Department of Public Service and Administration this week.
In a statement on Friday, the union referred to the current public sector wage offer of a 5.8% salary adjustment and a R1 100 housing allowance as "the perpetuation of the slavery wages" that it can no longer tolerate as it is "subjecting employees to adverse and unimproved conditions of service".
Cosatu said it can no longer accept negotiations done in bad faith. The union threatened that if its wage demands are not met, it will be left with no option but to take to the streets in protest.
Cosatu warned Treasury that its patience was wearing thin and it would be left with no option but to abandon the boardroom and go to the streets to "protest against the employers intransigencies".
• A 10% general salary increase for all public service workers;
• R1 500 housing allowance;
• The introduction and implementation of the government employees housing scheme;
• 1.5% pay progression for educators to equalise it with all public servants (All public servants are receiving 1.5% pay progression whereas educators receive 1%, according to Cosatu); and
• The finalisation of all outstanding matters.
It also demands that the National Treasury:
• Stop the clear and deliberate agenda to implement selective voluntary austerity measures, which are only directed only to the workers and the poor while at the same time these measures are meant to appease capital.
• Stop adhering to the discredited neo-liberal policies of GEAR (Growth, employment and redistribution) that have continuously and dismally failed the poor majority of this country. This actually represents the betrayal of the workers moral and commitment to their work and by extension their civil service
• Stop subjecting workers’ demands to media and opportunistically reporting about our demands as constituting a wasteful expenditure. This you do whilst private companies that are doing business with the state continue to make exorbitant profits and cashing-inn’s
• Stop allowing private companies, parastatals and their executives to continue to enjoy their ever expanding bonuses, benefits and salaries packs. This they do whilst they refuse to give workers decent wage increases or offer improved wages of benefits;
• Stop making public declarations and statements vilifying the workers and treating them like a costly nuisance as well as condemn hardworking employees
Cosatu has given the government till the end of the month before it starts with rolling mass actions. The negotiating period ends then.