Public sector employees reject government's latest wage increase offer

Eyewitness News can reveal that public sector employees have rejected government’s latest wage increase offer of 2%.

FILE: Public servants put a case to their unions that if public office bearers could get three percent, that is the least the government can do to meet them halfway. Picture: © fotoquique/123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - Eyewitness News can reveal that public sector employees have rejected government’s latest wage increase offer of 2%.

However, the margin of difference has narrowed. Insiders told Eyewitness News that workers now want 4% increase, but are willing to settle for a 3% increase.

Earlier this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa approved a 3% salary increase for public office bearers, including ministers. The workers’ original demand was 10%. Public servants put a case to their unions that if public office bearers could get a 3% increase, the least government can do is meet them halfway.

A joint meeting of all unions in the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council this week revealed that all workers rejected government’s 2% offer.

The details will be further ventilated during a meeting of the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council on Friday.

Some workers might get more than a 2% increase, when taking into account their pay progressions of 1.5%, the amount remains below inflation which was 7.4% in June.

Meanwhile, the Public Servants Association, which has already declared a dispute over government’s offer, will proceed to conciliation talks on Friday. At the core of their fight is the fact that the government gave workers 1.5% in pensionable increases last year, and has once again proposed not to increase salaries to at least match inflation.