Pretoria: Government has acknowledged receiving the memorandum handed over to National Treasury and the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) by union representatives on Thursday.
Hundreds of people marched through the Pretoria city centre calling for better wages in the public sector.
The workers belonging to seven Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) affiliated unions are threating to go on strike if government doesn’t improve its 5.8% wage offer.
The unions are demanding a 10% hike plus a R1 500 housing allowance, among others.
Government, as the employer, said it remains committed to finding an amicable solution through the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC).
It also called on all Cosatu public service unions to recommit themselves to the conciliation process.
“We have noted the demands as outlined in the memorandum and as submitted at the PSCBC.
“However, we call on all parties to remain calm as we seek a solution to the benefit of both public servants and the people of South Africa,” the employer said in a statement after receiving the memorandum.
Government reiterated that its negotiators have not been negotiating in bad faith, and that significant commitments have been made to improve the salaries of workers.
This ranges from an all-inclusive package increase of 15.1% (inclusive of medical aid, housing allowance and cost of living adjustment) for workers on salary levels 1, to an all-inclusive 9.5% for workers on salary level 10.
Public servants on salary levels 11 and 12 can expect an all-inclusive increase of 7.4% should the unions accept the current offer.
Unless and until the conciliation process has been exhausted, government said no party may exercise the right to strike and or lockout workers as provided for in the law.
Government said any industrial action, including yesterday’s march while the conciliation process is continuing, is unlawful and unprotected.
Government said it remains optimistic that the conciliation process will produce a mutually-beneficial outcome and that the current negotiations can be successfully concluded.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS