Johannesburg - The public service wage negotiations must not
be derailed, Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said on
"We need to move on this issue so that we would be able
to focus on other salient matters that are of mutual concern (for example) the
professionalisation of civil service, improvement and efficiency of
delivery," Sisulu said in a statement.
"I am content that labour was able to express
themselves freely about the current untenable situation. I am confident that a
solution would be found."
Sisulu met Congress of SA Trade Union's (Cosatu) public
service leaders on Friday to resolve the matters relating to the current wage
On Wednesday, Cosatu announced that a wage dispute had been
declared with the government.
The state had offered a 6.9% increase during a meeting on
July 4 but reduced the offer to 6.7% on Tuesday, the trade union federation
Sisulu said parties acknowledged that progress had been made
but that it was regrettable that during the last phase of negotiations an
agreement could not be reached.
"Union leaders expressed their dismay (at) the way government
negotiated in bad faith... It was resolved that an accord would be explored
where government and labour would deal with matters that impact on wage
negotiations and basic principles on these would be resolved timeously,"
Government and Cosatu were committed to finalising the wage
talks as soon as possible.
"Beyond the current wage dispute, the discussion was
extremely productive," Sisulu said referring to the meeting on Friday.
She said labour leaders "showed great sensitivity"
toward the complex issues facing the state.
"This is a significant step forward in the ongoing
talks and signals a new perspective on government's relations with
labour," said Sisulu.