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ILC to meet govt over failed public sector wage deal

The ILC and Cosatu are demanding 7 percent and say the 2012 agreement is null and void.

FILE: Workers protest as public sector unions seek to strike a wage deal on 19 May 2015. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Labour Caucus (ILC) says it has begun facilitating meetings with the acting minister of Public Service and Administration to bring an end to a dispute over government's wage agreement which collapsed last week.

Last month, unions and government reached a settlement for a 7 percent pay increase as well as a medical aid contribution of 2 percent.

However, this month, public sector employees received their salaries with an increase of just 6.4 percent.

The state only wants to pay workers a 6.4 percent salary increase because it claims to have paid them 0.6 percent too much over the past three years.

The ILC and Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu) are demanding 7 percent and say the 2012 agreement is null and void.

ILC chairperson Basil Manuel said, "And this will be happening within this week. We will be trying to get that facilitated because it is in all our own interests."

Public sector unions say they believe government intentionally omitted to mention that a negotiated wage increase of 7 percent would be subject to amendments.

Last week, acting Public Sector and Administration Minister Nathi Mthethwa said suspending the wage settlement will not solve any grievances.

"There shouldn't be a strike that will further cripple our economy."

The department says it has sought legal opinion to uncover whether or not it was correct in its decision to decrease the settlement.