Public servants call for urgent talks on wage cuts

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni (Gallo)
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni (Gallo)
Times Live / Esa Alexander/Gallo

South Africa’s public-service union called for urgent talks with the government on plans to reduce the state’s wage bill.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said last month he’s redoubling efforts to cut the government’s payroll to rein in a widening budget deficit. The nation’s 1.3 million public servants take home 35% of national spending, and compensation has grown faster than any other category barring payments for financial assets since 2007.

The Public Servants Association, the main state-employee labour union, said any attempts to cut salaries will be “vigorously opposed” by its more than 240 000 members. The government should also honour an existing wage agreement, it said in an emailed statement Tuesday.

“The current public-service wage agreement only ends in 2022 and must be honoured by the state,“ its said. “The PSA therefore calls on the state to urgently engage unions on any proposals to reduce the wage bill and find solutions to grow the economy

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