The Public Service Association (PSA) has called off Monday’s countrywide civil servants’ wage strike, averting a labour action that could have brought government services to a halt.
This follows the signing yesterday of a three-year agreement by the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) and the majority of public sector unions, representing 65.74%, paving the way for salary adjustments and improved conditions of service from 2018 to 2021.
In terms of the multi-term deal, backdated to April 1, employees will get increases of between 6% and 7%, depending on their level, including a restructured housing allowance.
The deal has taken months of protracted talks between the department of public service and administration and public-sector unions at the bargaining council.
Unions that signed yesterday’s agreement are:
- SA Democratic Teachers’ Union
- National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union
- Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union
- National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa
- South African Medical Association
- Public and Allied Workers’ Union of South Africa
- South African State and Allied Workers’ Union
- Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa
- Suid Afrikaanse Onderwysers Unie.
PSCBC general secretary Frikkie de Bruin said: “In this instance, collective bargaining was the ultimate winner with parties being resolute in negotiating an amicable settlement, irrespective of various challenges.
“Not everyone may be happy with everything in the resolution, but overall it attempts to address in some form the needs of the 1.3 million public servants impacted by the agreement.”
Expressing unhappiness with unions aligned to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), which constituted the majority at the signing of the agreement, PSA deputy general manager Tahir Maepa said: “Cosatu is bent on using its majority status to bail out the government to earn positions after the 2019 elections.
“We will work to earn support from civil servants and strip Cosatu of their majority in 2021. For the past 10 years, they have been signing bad deals at the expense of workers.”