Public sector wage deal brings new housing allowance structure

The breakthrough was achieved after the state increased its medical aid contribution from 25 to 28.5 percent.

FILE: Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)’s May Day rally underway. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Labour Caucus (ILC) says a wage deal signed with government will bring about a new housing allowance structure and last night's meeting was characterised by a sense of relief.

The ILC represents government workers outside the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

It sought R1,500, but it's understood a deal for a R1,200 allowance could be accepted by the unions.

It signed the deal early this morning and says the additional 3 percent allocated to medical aid increases has made the seven percent wage hike acceptable.

Chairperson of the ILC Basil Manuel says this time everybody one wanted to see something concrete come out of the talks.

"I think by last night everybody was at the point where we wanted to see something concluded we've been at it for seven months, it's been draining and I think it was such a relief that we've reached the end."

Government workers have won a seven percent wage hike over the next three years after prolonged talks which saw them initially demand 15 percent.

The breakthrough was achieved after the state increased its medical aid contribution from 25 to 28.5 percent.

After a week of canvassing among their members in a strike ballot by the Public Servants Association, Cosatu chief negotiator Mugwena Maluleke said workers have accepted the wage offer.

"Generally the seven percent has been accepted but there is some work that needs to be done on the medical aid and on the housing."

But he said benefits in the agreement have not yet been finalised.

"They are on the verge of signing, they have not signed because there is work that needed to be done."