Public sector unions warn govt to table new wage offer

Organised labour also warned that the new wage offer should not be restructured in a way that shifted money from other benefits to finance the salary hikes.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The public sector wage negotiations could resume by Friday after a two-week deadlock.

Unions have agreed to government’s proposal to continue with the talks through a facilitation process headed by independent mediators.

The critical negotiations hit a snag after government offered workers 0% wage increases in response to a 7% demand.

Public sector union leaders, who met at the bargaining council on Tuesday, resolved to give government another chance - but this was conditional.

In a memo seen by Eyewitness News, they warned that labour’s participation in the facilitation process was dependent on government tabling a new wage offer which would be the subject of the discussions during the process.

Organised labour also warned that the new wage offer should not be restructured in a way that shifted money from other benefits to finance the salary hikes.

Should the employer agree to the terms, the facilitation process will take place over the course of 10 days and should labour’s terms not be embraced by government, the unions warned that they would move to a conciliation process immediately, which gives way to other stages that could lead to a strike.

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