Pretoria: Parliament has welcomed the multi-year wage agreement signed by government and public service unions last month.
During a presentation to the Portfolio Committee of Public Service and Administration by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, members of the committee agreed that the multi-term agreement would bring stability to the budgeting process and the public service generally.
Last month, government entered into a three year multi-term agreement with labour following fears of a potential strike action after labour had declared a dispute.
Sisulu also added that as part of the agreement, new entrants in the public service would have to wait for a period of two years, as opposed to the normal one year, in order to receive a pay progression.
The implementation of the agreement from the month of May would save government R1.6 billion. The agreement was supposed to be effective from April as agreed with labour from the previous wage agreement.
Sisulu added that government was concerned about the rate of outsourcing in the public sector.
“We are concerned about the increasing trend of outsourcing within the public service as we lose a lot of money, millions through outsourcing of services that can be easily done by current employees and we will look at how we can save money,” the minister said.
The Chairperson of the Committee, Joyce Moloi-Moropa, welcomed the agreement, saying it laid the foundation for a better public service and must be celebrated by all.
Parties in Parliament welcomed the agreement, and invited the Minister for future meetings to deal with other issues such as the Single Public Service, Service Delivery Accord and programmes towards higher productivity in the public sector.
According to the agreement, public servants will receive a 7% increase for 2012 and from 2013 to 2015, the increase will be based on the Consumer Price Index plus 1%.