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  • Unions slam government’s ‘misleading 7.5%’ wage increase offer

    Unions slam government’s ‘misleading 7.5%’ wage increase offer

    The government announced that its final offer to public service workers would be a 7.5% increase, which is made up of the 3% increase pushed through in the mini-budget last month and the R1000 (4.5%) non-pensionable stipend workers already receive.

    READ: COSATU, SAFTU, FEDUSA public sector unions set for huge strike

    UNIONS UNIMPRESSED BY ‘MISLEADING’ STATEMENT

    In a joint statement, the roughly 800 000 workers represented by trade union federations SAFTU, COSATU and FEDUSA, slammed the 7.5% increase announcement made by Thulas Nxesi.

    “The misleading statement has led to erroneous media reports saying that public service unions have rejected a revised offer of 7.5% from the employer.

    “This is not true, there was never a 7.5% offer that was presented at the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council [PSCBC], but the government has been trying to pull the wool over public servants by distorting the offer,” read the statement.

    The government said the final offer will cost R34 billion in the 2022-2023 financial year and added it is committed to the bargaining council process. Unions have claimed that by forcing through the last wage offer – the government was eroding the process.

    Public service workers have not received any wage increases over the past two years. However, there has been an untaxed R1000 stipend across-the-board. This stipend was extended at the start of the 2022-2023 financial year while negotiations continued.

    The unions insist the only wage increase offer made by the government has been the 3% offer, which was rejected.

    “The government has sneakily decided to combine the R1000 stipend, and a 3% baseline increase in its calculations and rounded it up to a fictitious 7.5% increase. This means that the government is making an extraordinary claim that this R1000 stipend amounts to 4.5% and combined with their current 3% offer, this amounts to 7.5%.”

    The unions associated with SAFTU, COSATU and FEDUSA announced their intention to march on Tuesday, 22 November. The Public Service Association (PSA) took to the streets last week.

    All unions want an above-inflation increase and are demanding 10%. The government saysthe 3% offer represents the maximum it can afford to give.

    “We call on all our members and public servants to join the National Day of Action on Tuesday 22nd November 2022 as a show of force to push back the frontiers of government oppression and fight the attempt to reverse the constitutional gains that workers have earned with their blood and sweat,” said the unions on Thursday.

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    Khamisi
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