The majority of unions that encompass the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) wants the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) to come back to the Council with an improved wage offer by Friday.
The unions decided that giving government a deadline for an improved offer would be crucial, as any further delays in negotiations would compromise the public service.
Government offered a 7% wage offer for 2023/24, while an alliance of unions – those affiliated to the Federation of Trade Unions of SA (Fedusa) and the SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) – want 8%.
PSCBC unions were concerned that the media were deliberately distorting the facts about the quality of its 2023/24 wage negotiations.
They said the recent strike by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union was not about the 2023/24 round of negotiations but was about the 2022/23 dispute.
“This deliberate distortion is meant to credit those who boycotted the negotiations,” they said.
The unions fear that the distortion of facts is further perpetuated through the utterances of the Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni when she stated that “the majority of Unions in the Public Sector have signed an agreement to end the strike and settle the 2022/23 wage agreement.”
Instead, they assert that the majority of the unions in the Public Sector did not initiate strike action nor did they boycott the negotiation process. Sadtu noted that there are unions that are still to join the negotiations.
“Facts cannot be tortured and manipulated to legitimise lies,” warned the unions.
The unions within the PSCBC agreed that the government should heed their calls with urgency and a swift response would be welcomed.
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