Govt's lax approach to wage negotiations disappointing – Public Service Unions

Employer failed to respond to labour's demands on due date of 20 October, offered frivolous reasons

Public Service Unions Statement on 2017/18 Wage Negotiations 

27 November 2017

The Public Service Unions at the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (SADTU, PSA, NEHAWU, SAPU, DENOSA, POPCRU, NAPTOSA, HOSPERSA/NUPSWAW/NATU and SAPU) are disappointed by government’s lax and indifferent approach to the ongoing wage negotiations.

Labour tabled its demands to the employer on the 6th of October 2017 and the employer promised to respond on the 20th of October 2017.

The employer subsequently failed to come back on the said date and offered some frivolous reasons. They eventually came back on the 23rd of November 2017, where they informed us that they did not have a mandate and have since promised to come back on the 7th of December 2017.

What is deeply troubling about this is that they had ample time to get the mandate and secondly they are already discussing this matter in public as we saw them do in parliament yesterday.

We want to caution government not to negotiate with the workers through the media because that will muddy the waters and complicate the negotiations. We are not averse to confrontation if provoked and if they continue on this path the pushback will be ferocious and ugly.

Difficult or hostile negotiations will not serve anyone, let alone the economy, so they must stop negotiating in bad faith. 

We are aware that the Political Office Bearers have already been offered a 4% salary increase, despite them earning three times what many of our members earn; we therefore expect the workers to also be given their fair share. We demand that when they come back on the 7th of December 2017, they must have a solid and coherent response because failure to do so will antagonise the workers and force us to exercise our rights.

Issued by COSATU and Independent Labour Caucus, 27 November 2017