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Govt planning to implement 0% wage public sector increases in April

The state’s negotiators made the proposals at a council meeting on Tuesday where labour rejected the offer on the spot.

Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu. Picture: @thedpsa/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Government has told public service unions that it planned to implement 0% wage increases in April, unilaterally reneging on an agreement that guaranteed workers increases of between 4.5% and 5.5%.

The state’s negotiators made the proposals at a council meeting on Tuesday where labour rejected the offer on the spot.

Fuming labour unions said that they were waiting for 28 March when the persal system is meant to upload salaries with increases to approach the courts to seek an urgent interdict against the dishonouring of the agreement.

A 2018 wage agreement saw workers in different bands clinch wage increases of CPI plus 1% and CPI respectively.

The dispute would place public services in a precarious state as the country battled the COVID-19 virus, with the response programmes rooted in state services.

On Monday, Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu failed to convince the Cosatu joint mandating committee of the 0% increases at a closed meeting.

While other unions had resorted to court action, one of the largest unions in the sector, Nehawu, has threatened to strike despite warnings that it would compromise the health of its members.