NEHAWU prepares for a fight after government reneges on 2018 Public Service Collective Agreement
18 March 2020
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] is preparing for a big fight after government finally admitted its intentions to renege on implementing the last leg of PSCBC Resolution 1 of 2018 clause 3.3.
At a special council meeting of the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council [PSCBC] convened yesterday government made it clear that they will be giving our members a 0% salary increase on the 1st April 2020. With CPI currently at 4.4% our members are supposed to get their salary increases as follows:
- 5.4% for salary level 1-7
- 4.9% for salary level 8-10
- And 4.4% for salary level 11-12
The reneging of government on the full implementation of the wage agreement constitutes a frontal attack on workers and their hard won gains. NEHAWU has always maintained that any intention to disregard collective bargaining is a declaration of war. On numerous times government was warned to desist from provoking our members and the uttering of inciting statements as they have a huge potential to destabilise the public service.
NEHAWU will never allow what has been won democratically by workers to be taken by authoritarian, undemocratic means, we stick to our position that wage agreements reached by parties in the bargaining council remain sacrosanct. Anyone who undermines workers gains must also be prepared to face the wrath of our members.
The national union is reporting to its members the bad news with a view to mobilise them for the battle ahead. All structures from national, provincial and regional are being consulted on the matter while preparing to take the fight to government as soon as possible. The national union over the weekend instructed its structures to start mobilising for a national day of action to take place on the 30th March 2020 as a warning shot to government to implement the agreement as agreed in 2018.
NEHAWU condemns government for treating workers with sheer disdain while using them as scapegoats for problems in the fiscus. We find it abhorrent that government waited until the last minute to plead poverty while completely ignoring the real costs drivers like corruption, wasteful and fruitless expenditure, and the haemorrhaging of money to the shambolically managed State Owned Enterprises [SOE’s]. Our members must not be punished for the economic crisis they have not created while government dismally fails to impose austerity on the pay and privileges enjoyed by executives and directors.
At all times, we shall remain resolute in the defence of our members’ benefits and their livelihoods. For some time government has been courting war with workers and we are pleased to announce that their wish shall be granted.
Issued by Khaya Xaba, NEHAWU National Spokesperson, 18 March 2020