Employer Rejects Labour's Demands
Government has rejected Public Sector Unions demands, despite its failure to fulfil the 2020/21 leg of Wage Agreement.
Following the presentation made by NATU and other unions on the 4th of May 2022, the Council (PSCBC) reconvened on 19th May 2022 to receive employer’s response.
Whilst employer committed to principles of social dialogue based on trust, transparency and openness, their take on labour demands appeared far too insulting and provocative to public servants and NATU members in particular. Of 15 demands that NATU and other unions presented, employer rejected almost all of them.
In summary, hereunder are responses that Employer presented in respect of Labour Demands:
- Employer agrees that written confirmation regarding availability of funds will be presented at Council at the conclusion of the agreement (if any). The State committed that it will comply with Regulation 79 of Public Service Regulations.
- Regarding the demand of baseline increase of 10% across the board – Employer proposes that the cash allowance for 2022/23 should continue. The State restrict any adjustment to the available R20,5 Billion already budgeted for public service wage increase.
- Proposed R2500 increase in Housing Allowance was rejected by employer.
- On pay progression – Employer wants it implemented in terms of existing sectoral policies, i.e. be based on QMS and PMDS performance. This follows the lapse of PSCBC Resolution 1 of 2021 at the end of March 2022.
- Employer rejected our demand that contract workers including Teacher Assistants, Grade R Practitioners and School Safety Officers be employed permanently.
- Regarding demand that public servants be allowed access to the pension fund – Employer argued that the matter require amendments of GEP Laws and should find expression at NEDLAC and subsequently in Parliament.
All other demands including disaster compensation, abolishment of salary levels 1-3 and encashment of leave days were rejected.
NATU views this counter-proposal tabled by Government in serious light – as an insult to workers and will engage strongly and robustly on this matter going forward. “Employer’s proposal that nothing more than the cash gratuity they offered for 2022/23 means that they are actually offering 0% this financial year, which signals disrespect for our members. NATU is studying this nonsensical response presented by employer and will consult internally with our structures as well as with other unions to chant the way forward” – NATU Acting President, Mr S.V. Malinga.
The next meeting of Council is scheduled for the 31st of May 2022.