SARS: Notice served, strike looms – PSA

This follows failed wage negotiations wherein parties deadlocked and could not conclude a wage agreement for 2022/23

SARS: Strike looms as PSA serves notice

12 May 2022

The Public Servants Association (PSA), representing thousands of South African Revenue Service (SARS) employees, on 12 May 2022 gave notice to the SARS of the Union’s intention to embark on industrial action, following seven days’ notice.

The strike notice follows failed wage negotiations wherein parties deadlocked and could not conclude a wage agreement for 2022/23. SARS maintained the offer of a 0%-salary increase throughout the process, which was not accepted by labour as prices for basic services, food, fuel, electricity, etc., continuously increase and are becoming unaffordable for employees.

SARS unashamedly offered a 0%-salary increase, despite pronouncing that the tax-revenue collection target was exceeded by 25% during 2020/21. SARS exceeded the revenue target by over R16 billion, and this good performance can only be attributed to dedication and hard work by SARS employees who are now “rewarded” with no salary increase. The PSA is utterly disappointed with the attitude of the SARS, which throughout the process, demonstrated and uncaring attitude towards the plight of its employees.

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration subsequently issued a certificate of non-resolution pertaining to the wage negotiations.

The morale of SARS employees is at an all-time low as their employer has over the last three years unilaterally removed or altered their benefits. The SARS also failed to implement the final leg of a three-year wage agreement that was signed in 2019. The PSA was forced to challenge some of these irrational decisions in court as SARS was not willing to listen or engage with unions on these matters.

The PSA urges the Minister of Finance to intervene on an urgent basis and ensure that this impasse is resolved to avoid a shutdown of services at the SARS, which will also affect the country’s border posts. The PSA, however, remains committed to engage should the SARS place an offer on the table. Despite this, the PSA is ready to pursue the interests and rights of SARS employees at all costs.

Issued by PSA, 12 May 2022