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Zero percent wage increase for public servants could lead to industrial action

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Labour union threatens the South African government with strike action if a so-called zero percent wage increase for the 2021/2022 financial year is implemented.

The Public Servants Association (PSA) released a statement on Friday, 16 April 2021, warning the government that it will not accept the proposed zero percent wage increase. The PSA further threatened that widespread industrial action would ensue if worker demands are not taken seriously.

During the national budget speech address on 24 February 2021, Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni announced that the government would freeze public sector salaries for three years to reduce government expenditure. This led to a call for an immediate meeting between labour unions and the government, where the PSA urged its employer to respond before 9 April 2021.

On 15 March 2021, labour unions and the government convened a meeting, where a zero percent increase was tabled. In response, the PSA called its employer’s offer “utterly disappointing and an insult to labour as it only responded positively to some issues, which have no direct short-term financial benefit for employees.”

The next meeting between the two parties will take place on Friday, 23 April 2021. If the government does not revise the proposed wage increase offer, the PSA has threatened to engage in widespread strike action.

Athini Majali
[email protected]

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