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Public servants who have agreed to return to work have not won a further salary increase and will face deductions on pay for the next four months as the no-work, no-pay rule is implemented.
The 3% cost-of-living increase, which the government had offered before the strike, has already been implemented for all employees in the public sector.
The only concession on pay to striking trade unions is that they will be permitted to raise historic issues from the 2022/23 wage settlement in talks on the 2023/24 financial year. But there is no guarantee any further concessions will be made, particularly as negotiations for the new year are already close to conclusion.
A second concession is that no disciplinary action will be taken against employees for participating in the illegal strike. Deductions for no work, no pay will be staggered over the next four months.
The settlement between the striking unions – which included the National Education and Health Workers Union (Nehawu) and the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) – and the government states:
The striking unions will now join the process to negotiate the 2023/24 wage settlement, which they boycotted up until now. However, they constitute a minority in the Public Sector Co-ordination Bargaining Chamber (PSCBC) in which majority unions – the affiliates of the Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) and the SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) – are already close to a final settlement with the government.
Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, who briefed journalists on the outcome of the Cabinet meeting on Thursday, mistakenly announced that a settlement had already been reached.