Govt wants a settlement on public servants wages, union says

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Government has engaged with the Public Servants Association to reach a settlement on the wage dispute, the union said in a statement. 

According to the union, it received a request from the Minster of Public Service and Administration, Senzo Mchunu, to share a proposal to address the salary dispute. The meeting took place virtually on Sunday, where the minister made a proposal, the PSA said.

Fin24 has requested comment from the department.

According to the PSA, the proposal includes a "pension-based approach" whereby the employers' contribution to the employees' pension  - amounting to R27 billion – will be used to provide a once-off bonus to employees, calculated on the actual consumer inflation rate of 3%, as determined in September.

"This converts to the lowest-level employee receiving 4 000 and the highest-level employee receiving some R52 000 once off taxable amount," the PSA said.

However, the PSA intends to go ahead with the hearing on the matter, due in the labour court on Wednesday.

Earlier this year government reneged on the final year of the wage agreement signed in 2018, which sparked the court process. This is part of a proposed wage freeze as government seeks to slash the state's compensation budget by R160 billion over three years.

"The PSA reminded the minister that the salary dispute is currently sub judice and it would be appropriate for any proposal to be forwarded to the respective legal teams for consideration.

"The PSA will thus continue with the legal process. Any tangible proposal to be considered before judgement is handed down will be consulted with members," the statement read on Monday.

The PSA said the hearing of the dispute is "one of the most important and defining events in the history of South African labour law".  The PSA still believes it has a strong case.

"Collective agreements must be honored and that public servants, like any other worker in the country, must be paid the salaries due to them."

Magope Maphila of the South African Democratic Teachers Union, said the labour federation Cosatu would be open to engagements with government on the wage bill – but it wants workers to be paid what is due to them.

*More to follow

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