Govt asks for meeting with public sector unions in letter to bargaining council

It’s the latest development after public service wage negotiations deadlocked two weeks ago.

FILE: Public servants marched through Cape Town on 26 August 2010 to increase pressure on government to up its wage offer. Picture: Janine Willemans/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - Eyewitness News has on Monday learnt that government has written a letter to the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council requesting a meeting with trade unions.

It’s the latest development after wage negotiations deadlocked two weeks ago.

The meeting, which is scheduled to take place on Monday afternoon, is government’s latest attempt to break the deadlock.

READ: Organised labour: Govt attempting to sneak in policy matters into negotiations

According to council rules, the talks should last at least 42 days before either party declares a dispute; that period ends on Tuesday.

Last week, union leaders said they were planning to declare a dispute but Eyewitness News has been told this has not been done yet.

READ: Mchunu asks South Africans to help with public service wage negotiations

The declaration would give way to other processes, which could lead to a strike.

The negotiations deadlocked after labour rejected government’s offer of a 0% wage increase.

Public servants are demanding a 7% wage hike.

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