26 September 2023

SOUTH AFRICA: Government pay deal in the balance

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Two Public Service unions have voted to accept the South African Government’s pay offer of 1.5 per cent plus a limited monthly gratuity and two have rejected it, but the outcome for the remaining four is far from certain.

Unions were given 21 days from the formal tabling of the revised offer to consult with their membership and get a mandate to either accept or reject it.

However, the majority appear to be ignoring that deadline as they continue with their deliberations.

So far, the South African Democratic Teachers Union and the National Professional Teachers Union of South Africa have accepted and signed the offer, while the Police and Prison Civil Rights Union and the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union have rejected it, although the latter two unions are in the process of canvassing membership for a final mandate.

If the majority of unions do not accept the offer, it will be off the table and one of the parties involved will have to request that it be resubmitted to the table for further negotiation, or request more time to get a mandate.

Spokesperson for the largest and most influential union, the Public Servants Association, Claude Naicker said it was still tallying the votes to indicate whether the members had accepted it or not.

“As soon as our voting procedure is finished, we will indicate whether we will accept the offer or not,” Mr Naicker said.

Spokesperson for the Democratic Nurses Organisation of South Africa, Sibongiseni Delihlazo said it would have a clear indication of the way forward once it had concluded its electronic balloting process.

“There is nothing completely new from our side, given that we are still busy with the mandating process. We want to be quite thorough,” Mr Delihlazo said.

On 9 July, the Government, through the Department of Public Service and Administration, tabled the offer of a 1.5 per cent salary increase with a lump sum gratuity, ranging from R1,200-to-R1,600 ($A112-to-$A149), to be paid between 1 April and 31 March 2022.

Pretoria, 18 July 2021

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