Few public sector unions prepared to sign

2010-10-11 16:01

Johannesburg – Most public sector unions are unlikely to sign the proposed wage agreement with government on Wednesday, said Chris Klopper, chairman of the Independent Labour Caucus (ILC).

"At this stage, all indications are that a majority of unions that are prepared to sign the agreement will not be achieved easily. It will only be possible to make a final determination on 13 October," Klopper said.

Government signed the agreement on September 13 and gave unions 21 working days from then to consult their members on its wage offer and sign the deal if they accept it.

Klopper said the ILC, which aims to foster cooperation between labour parties, will only take a final decision regarding the signing of the agreement by the individual unions that constitutes the ILC on October 13.

He said the deadline for the signing of the draft agreement expires on Wednesday.

The ILC and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) will meet on Tuesday afternoon after conclusion of the AGM of the Public Sector Central Bargaining Chamber (PSCBC).

In terms of the draft wage agreement, government has offered a 7.5% wage increase and an R800 housing allowance.

There are clauses in the draft agreement that reassure workers in essential services such as nursing that they won't be dismissed for misconduct and for taking part in the strike, which began on August 18 and was suspended on September 6.