A planned strike by South African Security Service Agency (Sassa) employees affiliated to the Public Servants Association (PSA), scheduled to start tomorrow, has been put on hold.
This because the union has another meeting with the social development minister on Thursday.
PSA assistant general manager of collective bargaining, Leon Gilbert, said the outcome of the union’s meeting with Minister of Social Development Susan Shabangu yesterday, at which they stated their position, was positive. Thursday’s meeting would focus on the way forward, he added.
The Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council wage agreement signed on Friday in which the salaries of workers affiliated to the majority of public service unions were increased by 6% and 7% did not apply to Sassa.
Gilbert said Sassa was an agency of government, and like the SA Revenue Service, did not fall under the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council. Sassa has a different bargaining council to that of public service workers.
Gilbert said Sassa staff demands included 15% increases for levels five to eight, 13% increases for levels nine to 12, more choice in medical aid schemes, a housing allowance increase of R2 500 and that Sassa offices close over the Christmas and New Year period.
He explained that the strike would not be called off as an official notice had already been issued. This meant that Sassa employees who did not go to work would be protected by the notice.
He added that people collecting their grant payments would not be affected, but those registering for grants would likely face some challenges. He added that some Sassa offices would be open.
Gilbert said their hopes for Thursday was that the social development minister recognised Sassa as an agency of government, which did not fall under the public service, so salary negotiations could start soonest.