26 September 2023

SOUTH AFRICA: Unions ‘will fight pay freeze’

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South Africa’s public sector unions have promised they will fight Government attempts to freeze pay increases in 2020.

The next round of public-sector wage negotiations is set to take place in the second half of the year.

Minister for Public Service and Administration, Senzo Mchunu is already a target of the unions for his 2019 plan to cut more than 30,000 jobs in an effort to reduce the Public Service wage bill by more than R20 billion ($A2 billion).

The unions say their members deserve better salaries and perks and should not take the blame for the Government’s shortfalls.

They say the current fiscal chaos is the result of corruption within the Government, which is costing the country more than R500 billion ($A50.3 billion).

Assistant General Manager of the 230,000-member Public Service Association, Reuben Maleka said Mr Mchunu had pleaded that the Public Service wage bill was too high and there should be a freeze.

We made it clear to him that we will not agree to such a position,” Mr Maleka said.

General Secretary of the South African Federation of Trade Unions, Zwelinzima Vavi (pictured) said Public Servants would never agree to no salary increase because for the past six years there had not been a real increase in their salaries.

“Public-sector employees deserve decent wages and housing allowances, among other perks,” Mr Vavi said.

“We have shortages of critical, front-line workers in so many areas, such as health, education, police and the general Public Service,” he said.

“We don’t know where this propaganda about a bloated sector comes from.”

Pretoria, 5 February, 2020

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