- The Public Servants Association has announced that its members gave the union a mandate to accept the public service wage offer from government.
- The PSA is now the third union in the public service wage talks to accept the offer.
- But the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union and the South African Policing Union have both rejected the offer.
The Public Servants Association announced on Monday that - after an extensive balloting process - its members gave the union a mandate to accept the public service wage offer at the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council.
Government, through the Department of Public Service and Administration, is offering an increase of 1.5% in pensionable salaries, as well as a monthly (non-pensionable) cash payment ranging from R1 200 to R1 600 from 1 April to 31 March next year.
The PSA, which represents more than 235 000 civil servants including teachers and health workers, is the third union in the public service to accept the government's wage offer, after the South African Democratic Teachers Union and The National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa also agreed to it.
But the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union and the South African Policing Union have both rejected the offer, with SAPU balloting membership to gauge the appetite for a strike among police service administrative staff.
The remaining three unions in the public service wage talks are still balloting members for a mandate to either accept or reject government's offer. If the majority of unions do not accept the offer by the end of the month, the offer will fall away, with arbitration starting anew.
In a statement released on Monday, the PSA said it would accept the interim public service wage offer after having finalised its mandating process last week.
"The PSA is determined to continue its efforts, in cooperation with other unions, to restore the integrity of the country and its Public Service.
"On this basis the PSA, on behalf of its members, will accept the employer's interim offer with the expectation that its standing demands will be taken forward through negotiations in the PSCBC," the statement said.
The union said while it hoped that this would ease pressure on the state brought on by the pandemic and recent looting, it maintained that government was taking too long to recover money that was stolen from citizens through corruption.