More talks scheduled in bid to break public wage deadlock

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The deadlock between the public sector unions and government started already more than two weeks ago.
The deadlock between the public sector unions and government started already more than two weeks ago.

After a second day of meeting with the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council, public sector unions have agreed to have three days of facilitated negotiations from 7 to 9 May, Reuben Maleka of the Public Servants' Association of SA (PSA) said on Tuesday evening.

"This is to give the employer the opportunity to revise its offer, failing which the PSA reserves its rights to kick-start the conciliation process under a council dispute resolution panel," he said.

The PSA represents 230 000 public sector workers.

Mugwena Maluleke of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) said the general secretary of the union and the two chief negotiators, one from the state and one from labour, will recommend to the council two names of facilitators who will take the process of facilitation forward.

The deadlock between the public sector unions and government started already more than two weeks ago. Unions want an inflation-related increase plus 4% - therefore 7% in total. Government, on the other hand, is offering a 0% increase on the cost-of-living adjustment, pleading budgetary constraints. The success of National Treasury's fiscal consolidation plan largely depends on being able to curb the wage bill.

The Public Servants' Association said in the past that it believes that fraud, corruption, mismanagement, and wasteful expenditure have brought the SA economy to a dire situation it is currently in - and now workers have to pay a high price.

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