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Public sector unions lose court bid to force govt to implement 2020 wage hikes

The Labour Appeal Court has dismissed the application by public sector unions seeking to force government to implement salary increases for this year.

FILE: Workers protest as public sector unions seek to strike a wage deal. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Labour Appeal Court has dismissed the application by public sector unions seeking to force government to implement salary increases for this year.

The court has ruled that clause 3.3 in the wage agreement signed in 2018 infringed on the mandatory legal requirements governing the conclusion of wage agreements by government.

Public sector unions had sought an enforcement order of the agreement, which guaranteed employees in the sector wage increases of up to CPI plus 0.50%.

The legal dispute followed months of disagreements between the state and workers, as unions insisted that the salary hikes had to be implemented because they were cemented by an agreement.

READ MORE: Govt appeals to unions to back postponement of wage hike court hearing

Government argued that it could not afford this, as it worked on recouping R160 million from the compensation bill in the next three years.

Treasury submitted during court proceedings that it never gave the green light for the wage hikes as required by law.

ALSO READ: Cut politicians' salaries instead of freezing public servants' increases

Unions have indicated they are still studying the judgment.

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