Public sector unions head to ConCourt in bid to reinstate 2020 wage increases

This comes after the government won initial court cases in the Labour Court and Labour Appeal Court, where it was ruled that the collective agreement was invalid despite the government and unions having signed on it in 2018.

FILE: The Constitutional Court. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Constitutional Court will on Tuesday morning hear arguments in the appeal application by public sector trade unions seeking the reinstatement of last year’s wage increases for their members.

This comes after the government won initial court cases in the Labour Court and Labour Appeal Court, where it was ruled that the collective agreement was invalid despite the government and unions having signed on it in 2018.

The unions involved, the Public Servants Association (PSA), Nehawu and the SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) among others, have argued in submissions to the Constitutional Court that their members are entitled to the wage increases because the collective agreement is a valid contract.

Nehawu further argues that the Labour Appeal Court erred in law and misconstrued the law by relying on factors other than resolution 1 of 2018.

It said that the court should have found that the terms of the resolution became part and parcel of employees’ conditions of employment.

The lower courts found that the agreement was invalid as it was concluded in breach of the requirements in regulation 78 and 79 for agreements that have financial implications by not securing the approval of the National Treasury.

Meanwhile, the hearing by the apex court comes just a few weeks after the government and unions concluded this year’s wage agreement during a facilitated process, however, the outstanding 2020 increases were also a stumbling block in these negotiations.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.