The government`s revision would ensure that workers in the sector do not receive a pay increase for the years 2020 and 2021. Discussions continued earlier this week, when the Public Services Association (PSA) called for a general wage increase of 12%. The government has proposed an increase of 7% for lower-level workers, 6.5% for intermediate workers and 6% for managers. PSA chief executive Ivan Fredericks told Fin24 by phone on Friday that the continuation of the strike was an « unnecessary exercise » as the majority of unions signed the agreement, so the strike would not have a major impact. Under the agreement signed by public sector unions, with the exception of the Public Service Association, each party to the agreement could request a review of its content and the government cashed in. « In fact, payroll is really the biggest expense. The unions were also really proactive, which I appreciated. They don`t want to be the sacrificial lamb and they said there were a number of other areas where we can look at savings, » said the president. – SAnews.gov.za earlier this month, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that discussions were under way on ways to reduce the wage bill in the public sector, which represents the government`s largest expenditure. The agreement, which will come into force in April of this year, guaranteed workers the consumer price index, plus 2% wage increases under a three-year collective agreement. However, if the Department of Finance is required, it may have to remain at the same level of pay for the next three years, in the absence of any plans to increase the salaries of government employees. A cleaner in Pretoria, Sylvester Shabangu, said that in wanting to join the protests, he could not afford to forego a daily wage because the non-work rule was not being paid. He added that a planned strike for 5,000 of its members working for the South African Social Services Agency (Sassa) was still in sight.
But PSA will contact the minister and try to reach an agreement by Monday. – End24 JOHANNESBURG – In a desperate move ahead of Wednesday`s budget speech, the government tried to pull out of a collective agreement for 2018 with civil servants. The last collective bargaining in the public service began in October 2017 and culminated in a three-year collective agreement on June 8, 2018. The collective agreement was implemented effective April 1, 2018 and covers the period 2018/19 to 2020/21. The agreement calls for an increase to come into effect on April 1, 2020. Many street workers on Wednesday were public servants who expressed concern about having to deal with their existing wages despite the rising cost of living, although the state agreed to increase their wages by up to 5.4% this year, but later renounced the agreement. THE PSCBC, a central labour market bargaining council, issued a statement on Friday that 65.74 per cent of unions have agreed to wage adjustments and improvements in terms of service in the sector for three years, from 2018/19 to 2020/21. This comes after Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced in the February budget speech that the government would adjust the wage bill by around 160 billion euros in the medium term to save R37.8 billion in the next fiscal year.