Calls for multi-year public service wage

2012-08-15 15:00

Cape Town - The National Planning Commission called for a multi-year public service salary determination process to help keep the wage bill sustainable.

In its revised plan released on Wednesday, the commission warned that the wage bill was set to exceed a third of total state expenditure, echoing concerns voiced by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

"The levels need to be sustainable. The commission recommends that multi-year agreements be reached on public-service pay, and this is determined in line with the national budget process."

It also recommended that the public sector bargaining council be broken into different chambers, judging that pervasive pay dispute strikes were due in part to conflation between different work sectors.

It called for a clear definition of essential public services, and alternatives to resolving disputes in those sectors, including health, education and policing, than strike action.

The call for a definition is pertinent to the Labour Relations Amendment Bill, which is part of a labour law regime overhaul criticised by business as "regressive".

The commission appears to be at odds here with the Congress of SA Trade Unions, which last month called for more flexible processes defining essential services.

The NPC's proposals on probation periods also seem to call for fine-tuning in the bill, which calls for all employers to be considered permanent staff after six months.

It said it should be clear in law that employers can appoint workers on a probation period of up to six months without ordinary, unfair dismissal protection coming into play.

"Uncertainty about the application of current provisions undermines the willingness of firms to hire inexperienced workers."

Overall the NPC maintained its original, cautious call for greater labour market flexibility, without demanding drastic law changes.

It said the market must become more responsive in order to expand employment opportunities, and allow the country to move "progressively" to the vision of decent work.

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  • chiepner - 2012-08-15 15:30

    Fair - will you politicians also agree on that same thing for MP's and Ministers alike?

  • Ze Don - 2012-08-15 15:40

    I've got a better idea, make increases performance based. I can't see 90% of government employees getting ANY increase in the foreseeable future!

  • charles.kubhayi.9 - 2012-08-15 15:43

    It is disgusting to hear ANC leaders calling for a reversal of the labourlaws achieved by workers in the democratic dispensation.This is an indication of approval of the apartheid system as good for workers,this leads to suspicion that they have been bought by the former apartheid corporations to restore the oppressive labourlaws.

      Jay - 2012-08-15 17:06

      My Dear Charles, the issue here is that slowly but surely people with brains, which from this article seem to surprisingly include some members of the ruling party, are at last seeing the weakness in a policy where workers feel themselves entitled enough to stick out their fat little hands for more and more whilst unproductively lying around / striking in the sun. That is why a multi-year settlement is now being called for. It is the few realists in the ruling party calling for this in order to see how it goes down with the vast, slightly educated masses (that is, people like you, dear Charles). However, my dear man, please do sleep assured. Do not fear for anything to come of this too soon as the majority of the ANC's Slightly Educated Masses (again and in case you missed it the 1st time, this means people like you) will need a few years to get their heads from that deep, deep well the History Books call Prehistory.

      mgaba.tswakeletsa - 2013-01-20 21:57

      We are supriced to hear julias malema,demand for revesal of laburlows.i mean julias he is not a woker first of all.julias he have been expeled wthin the ancyl.julias must go and phesur money so that he can pay sars.julias malema back off cosatu is the for intrest of the wokers.aluta kontinuwa president jacob zuma.

  • Hugh - 2012-08-16 00:17

    better still fire the sick lame and lazy including those who pretend they are so busy that the bones in the leg have turn to jelly from inactivity. Rid yourself of that half million hangers on and government will save billions. But then they lack the will in so many spheres.

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