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Wage demands informed by research of govt salary hikes - Public sector unions

Unions submitted their demands to the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) earlier on Monday ahead of pre-negotiation talks with government.

FILE: Thousands of public servants march in the Pretoria CBD as they make their way to Union Buildings. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Public sector unions said that their wage demand of inflation plus 4% was informed by research of average salary increases across different government spheres.

Another variable weighed was government’s refusal to increase workers’ wages last year.

Unions submitted their demands to the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) earlier on Monday ahead of pre-negotiation talks with government.

READ: Public sector trade unions demand CPI plus 4% as final wage demand submitted

The unions said that that while the negotiations process was a give and take, indicating a willingness to compromise on some demands, they, however, still had to put the needs of their members first.

Cosatu mandating committee chairperson, Mugwena Maluleke, said that they also had to consider the conditions of living challenges faced by workers when arriving at the demand.

READ MORE: Mogajane: Govt wants to avoid public servant salary cuts at all costs

"A 4% plus inflation will go a long way to addressing problems that they've encountered having one, that they don't qualify for NSFAS, they also don't qualify for RDP houses - they are the missing middle."

The Public Servants Association (PSA)’s Reuben Maleka said that despite government’s poverty pleas, they were confident that Treasury would not come to the negotiations table empty-handed.

"There is no way we are going to sign a multi-term and we are well aware of the difficulties in terms of fiscus and that is why we are willing to negotiate."

Beyond the wages, workers were also demanding that housing allowances be increased to R2,500.

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