Johannesburg - Cosatu labour unions have declared a dispute over public service wage negotiations, the federation said on Wednesday.
"The employer had presented the 6.9% cost of living adjustment in a meeting with labour on July 4, 2012," the Congress of SA Trade Unions said in a statement.
However, in a meeting called by the government on Tuesday, the offer was reduced to 6.7%.
Cosatu, which claims to represent over 58% of the country's public servants, said government was negotiating in bad faith.
"This is a deliberate attempt to mislead the public in an attempt to pit them against the public service workers."
Government had left Cosatu no choice but to declare a dispute, the federation said.
Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said on Wednesday that government intended finalising negotiations as soon as possible.
"We are negotiating a multi-year agreement within very limited resources. It can be frustrating at times," Sisulu said.
Parties were close to a settlement and it was in everyone's best interest to continue to negotiate within the bargaining council.
An urgent meeting had been requested with all parties, Sisulu said.
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