Public sector wage talks expected to resume today with new govt offer

This week, unions said that they would return to the negotiating table if government guaranteed that they would up their 0% wage increase offer and it appeared that they got their way.

FILE: Workers protest as public sector unions seek to strike a wage deal. Picture: Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The public sector wage negotiations are set to resume under facilitation on Friday morning following a two-week deadlock.

On Thursday night, sources told Eyewitness News that government had agreed to table a new offer as per the demands of labour.

The stalemate in the public service wage negotiations is finally over and now government and unions will engage with each other through independent mediators.

This week, unions said that they would return to the negotiating table if government guaranteed that they would up their 0% wage increase offer and it appeared that they got their way.

However, it remains unclear how the government plans to finance the increases given its plans to cut compensation spending, with Treasury Director-General Dondo Mogajane on Thursday saying that while they respected collective bargaining, they simply could not afford labour’s demands.

Workers want 7% wage increases and other conditions of service adjustments after they did not receive increases last year.

Eyewitness News, however, understands that unions are willing to compromise on their demands should government make it worth their while.

The facilitation process will last 10 days and if no resolution is reached, unions will declare a dispute and move onto conciliation, which could lead to industrial action that could bring public services to a halt.

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