South Africa’s public servants are set to down tools next week over government’s decision to unilaterally implement a 3% wage hike this month.
This follows a deadlock in wage negotiations between government and public sector unions.
Public service strike
Civil servants are demanding above-inflation increases of 10%, among other demands. But government has stuck to its 3% wage offer citing fiscal constraints.
The country’s three major trade union federations – the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) and the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) – on Thursday morning held a media briefing in Pretoria.
The briefing was held at the offices of the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) in Centurion.
The labour union federations announced that their affiliate unions in the public sector would embark on a national day of action on 22 November across all provinces.
Cosatu, Fedusa and Saftu said their fight was not only for the cost-of-living adjustment, but also for the protection of collective bargaining.
This follows government’s decision to renege on implementing the final year of the three-year wage agreement in 2018.
“We have resolved to fight and protect collective bargaining. We are aware of the threats who want to demobilise our collective strength, but we will forge forward even to the last breath we take.
“We call on the government to do the honourable thing and accede to the reasonable demands that will counter the high inflation, the skyrocketing petrol prices, unaffordable food and public transport prices,” the federations said in a joint statement.
The federations said their affiliate unions would also continue with picket demonstrations across critical service centres like public hospitals, ports and government institutions.
“We have resolved to rally our collective might to push the employer to improve the rejected offer and will use everything in our power to register our disdain to the government.”
Last week, the Public Servants Association (PSA) embarked on a national strike over the wage impasse.
The PSA represents 235 000 members in the public sector and is demanding 6.5% in wage increases.