Fin24

Date set for public workers strike

2010-08-06 11:34

Johannesburg - Unions representing about 1 million South African public sector workers said on Friday they planned to stage a one-day strike on August 10 after rejecting the government's latest wage hike deal.

The government on Thursday raised its pay offer to civil servants to avert a strike that could cripple commerce in the continent's largest economy. It was quickly rejected by the union groups.

"On Tuesday there will be a massive stay-away where all the unions will take part," Manie de Clercq, a spokesperson for the Public Servants Association whose members downed tools last week, told Reuters.

Union officials said they had been in talks with the government and were hopeful a deal could be reached, but also said the one-day strike could be followed by a prolonged walkout.

Analysts expect more sparring in the days to come but believe a deal tilted in the unions' favour will be reached to head off a repeat of the mass action by civil servants three years ago that battered the economy.

The Public Service Ministry has said in a statement it was prepared to increase salaries by 7%, after previously offering 6.5%.

Union officials said the government had increased its offer of a R630 monthly housing allowance by R20.

Unions have been demanding a wage increase of 8.6% - double the current rate of inflation - and a housing allowance of R1 000, which would put pressure on the state budget.

The government says the combined demands amount to a rise of 9% and make it all but impossible to fulfil a commitment to bring the budget deficit down from 6.7 % of gross domestic product.

Spending on personnel is the largest sector of the budget.

  - Reuters

Comments
  • Employee - 2010-08-06 13:05

    VIVA STRIKE VIVA!!!!!!!!!!

  • wayne - 2010-08-06 13:32

    Fire them all we have lots of people who would love to have a job!

  • DIZZY - 2010-08-06 13:58

    I STRONLY BELIEVE THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS PLAYING MONKEY TRICKS WITH THE PUBLIC SERVANTS.FIRST OF ALL THEY GRANTED ESKOM 25% INCREASE,PETROL PRICE IS GOING UP ALMOST EVERY MONTH AND NOW THEY ARE TELLING US THAT THERE'S NO MONEY.THE ANC GOVERMENT IS FULL OF CURRUPTION AND THEY ARE BUSY ENRICHING THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES.WE ALL THOUGHT FOR THIS FREEDOM BUT NOW IT SEEM LIKE ONLY A FEW "FAT CATS" MUPHIERS ARE THE ONES WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO REAP THE FRUIT OF OUR LIBERATION STRUGGLE.WE SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH AND BALOYI MUST GO BACK TO MALAMULELE WHERE HE BELONGS. AMANDLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

  • @Dizzy - 2010-08-06 16:36

    Your argument doesn't make any sense at all. Eskom got an increase to fund power stations. That money flows to Eskom, not to government. The only people playing games are the public servants. Unions should be banned in this country, it's the only way we'll ever become a 1st world country. Double the inflation rate is NOT a reasonable increase demand.

  • Litshani - 2010-08-07 15:19

    Public servants are not being unreasonable.Most of the comments made here are not factual.For starters Transnet employees got 11 percent increase,Eskom employees 9 percent and Sars employees 8 percent.The public servants understand the economic problems and through the Unions are trying to reach the Employer half way.Placing a demand does not mean you will strictly stick to it but simply means ''come a bit closer'' to my demand.With SARS putting in place tighter measures to make people pay their taxes,there will be money and next year the Government can plan on doing other things.For now lets meet each other half way.Before you criticize the public servants look at things from their views,how much increase would you probably want to get in your own job?

  • Hatorri Hanzou - 2010-08-08 09:15

    Mmm lets see, SARS which is paid by government got around 9%, So did the South African weather service. Both paid out of government budgets. Eskom got around 9% as well as a massive housing allowance. Also funded out of government budgets. So I dont think the public servants are demanding to much (compared to others that are paid by government)

  • pheladi - 2010-08-13 02:54

    government is playing with their workers.pls give your workers what they want.

  • Mbongeni - 2010-08-16 13:50

    Government should be feeling shame full for denieng a R1000 request by the employees,these days where can you get a bond or house where you have to pay less than R2000.Employees are reasonable justified to make a request for at least R1000 by this i fully support the strike. Government employees are the most underpaid then anybody in SA and government still denies 8.6% wage increase these politicians exploited the working class especially government working class, before election they had big and better promises on wage increases to the state employees of which now could not even meet one of those promises. This is a lesson to employees for future reference when elections comes in 2012.

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