To strike or not? Public sector unions turn to members after wage talks re-open

Unions have for months now been in and out of meetings with government negotiators.

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

JOHANNESBURG – Some of the major public sector unions are now consulting members on a revised and final wage offer from government.

The latest offer includes a 3% pay progression for qualifying workers.

Unions have for months now been in and out of meetings with government negotiators.

Talks reopened on Friday with the employer standing firm on a 1.5% wage increase.

The unions have warned they will now declare a dispute.

READ: Public sector union mull way forward after rejecting govt's latest wage offer

Among the unions at loggerheads with the state is the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union.

Spokesperson Richard Mamabolo said they were being tested.

“The employer has not moved an inch from the previous offer. It has refused to entertain any substantive issues in the draft agreement, indicating that what is contained in the draft agreement is their final offer.”

Should union members agree with leadership, a public sector strike has the potential to cripple the economy and disrupt key services.

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