Johannesburg - Cosatu wants a solution to the deadlock over
public service wage negotiations as soon as possible, the labour federation
said on Thursday.
"We are committed to finding a solution as soon as
possible," said Mugwena Maluleke, chief negotiator of the Congress of SA
"That is why we have elevated this matter to a legal
Maluleke said the secretary of the bargaining council needed
to appoint someone registered with the council and the Council for
Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to mediate the process.
The federation announced on Wednesday that a wage dispute
had been declared with the government.
Cosatu, which claims to represent over 58% of the country's
public servants, said the government was negotiating in bad faith.
The state had offered a 6.9% increase during a meeting on
July 4 but reduced the offer to 6.7% on Tuesday, Cosatu said.
Independent Labour Caucus (ILC) spokesperson Chris Klopper
said the ILC declared a dispute with government three weeks ago, but the
caucus' dispute was not the same as Cosatu's.
"What could happen is that the (bargaining) council
might want to see a joining of the disputes. However, the two disputes are not
the same," he said.
"Government has come back to the bargaining table but
they have not addressed our concerns."
The ILC's concerns related to set wage adjustments tied to
the Consumer Price Index, unilateral additional working and a housing
allowance, which Klopper described as a deal-breaker.
The Public Servants Association (PSA) declared the same
dispute as the ILC in conjunction with the caucus.
PSA general manager Danny Adonis said he hoped an agreement
could be reached quickly.
"The gaps aren't that large any more and we should be
able to bridge those gaps as soon as possible. It's important to ensure
everything is put (in order) properly," he said.
Ndivhuwo Mabaya, spokesperson for Public Service and
Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, could not be immediately reached for
Sisulu said in a statement on Wednesday that government
intended finalising negotiations as soon as possible.
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