PSA, Cosatu to meet over public sector wage offer

A decision on whether to accept government’s offer will be taken tonight.

FILE: Around 10,000 people are marching through the Pretoria city centre this hour calling for better wages in the public sector on 23 April 2015. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Public Servants Association (PSA) said it has balloted its 220,000 members on the latest wage and medical aid offer from the Public Service and Administration Department.

A decision on whether to accept government's offer will be taken tonight.

That's when the PSA, Independent Labour Caucus and Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) will meet with the state's Public Sector Bargaining Council.

Government has offered a 7 percent wage hike with a 25 percent contribution to medical aid.

The state had earlier tabled an offer of 5.8 percent.

The PSA's Leon Gilbert said they're optimistic ahead of tonight's meeting as they're not opposed to the offer at this stage.

"As PSA we're not opposed to that offer at this stage. I can't give you the assurance at this stage in what way it's going to be concluded, but we're positive that we'll final the process."

However, last month, Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene said any wage increase greater than the 5.8 percent inflation rate that the government offer is based on cannot be financed through debt issuance.

He said the government would need either to reallocate funds from elsewhere or cut jobs, he said.

Nene said wage demands by public sector unions would cost the government an extra R20 billion over the next financial year.