Public sector negotiations to continue

2012-06-24 13:25

Johannesburg - Wage negotiations between the government and civil servants will continue this week, the public service ministry said on Sunday.

The negotiations are scheduled to start on Monday.

Public Service Minister Lindiwe Sisulu welcomed the decision by unions to continue with the negotiations after they declared a wage dispute two weeks ago.

"With over 1.3 million employees in national and provincial governments and close to one million in municipalities and other institutions of government, the public service must lead in productivity and be on the forefront of our service delivery and collective efforts for a South Africa free of poverty and joblessness" Sisulu said in a statement.

National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers general secretary Success Mataitsane said he hoped the negotiations would bring a more favourable offer to workers.

"We welcome any move towards the resolution of the dispute," he said.

"Our approach to the meeting will be to see if there if a change of heart in the employers."

He said a conciliation meeting was scheduled for July 10.

"We are hoping that they [government] will come up with a better offer... [in order] to make the meeting redundant."

On Tuesday, Sisulu said the government had offered civil servants a nine percent raise, made up of a 6.5 percent salary rise and a 2.5 percent increase in benefits.

Labour was demanding an eight percent salary increase.

Sisulu said the Treasury had budgeted for only a five percent increase.

"Government [is] in a situation where nine percent is way above what it has budgeted for," she said.