Public service

Cosatu offers 10% pay rise at Civil Service Bargaining Council meeting

However, the Treasury is adamant that it cannot spend more than the R20 billion, which has been budgeted for salaries under the current budget framework.

Cosatu President Zingiswa Losi leads the march to the Treasury in Pretoria for the nationwide strike on October 7, 2020. Photo: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG — The majority of public service unions across the country have filed for a 10% wage increase as the latest round of wage negotiations begins at the Public Service Bargaining Coordinating Council.

However, the Treasury is adamant that it cannot spend more than the R20 billion, which has been budgeted for salaries under the current budget framework.

The gap between what has been demanded, including other benefits such as housing allowances, heralds a tough time for union and government negotiators, who just emerged from a civil service summit last month in the search for solutions to the salary structure.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said on Thursday that the demands were influenced by a number of factors, including the non-implementation of wage increases in 2020.

In addition to the proposed 10% cost-of-living adjustment, the workers also want R2,500 for housing allowances and the permanent employment of contract workers, including teaching assistants and community health workers. .

In a statement, the federation – which leads the majority of unions in the sector – said the double-digit increase in demand was due to national and global financial volatility which had driven up the cost of living.

Last year, the government and workers reached a one-year deal for 1.5% wage increases plus cash payments after months of negotiations that were characterized by strike threats, the State refusing to give in to workers’ demand for up to 7% raises.