Media statement around Public Services negotiations update

11 July 2012

Public Service wage negotiations reached a stalemate yesterday after the employer reneged on their latest offer of 6.9%. The employer had presented the 6.9 % cost of living adjustment in a meeting with labour on the 4th of July 2012. It was then expected that labour would thereafter consult with their members in order to get a mandate on this latest offer and would revert back to the council after consultations.

However, the employer requested a meeting with labour representatives yesterday, the 10th of July. To our surprise, instead of negotiating further from our point of departure as of the last meeting, the employer then reverted back to their 6.7% offer. COSATU affiliated labour unions in the PSCBC, representing over 58% of the country’s public service workers are of the view that the employer is negotiating in bad faith and is not interested in settling this current round of negotiations amicably.

The employer’s attitude in yesterday’s meeting further vindicates labour’s view that government is arrogant, misleading, dishonest, deceitful and is taking workers for granted. This is also contrary to what they’ve been communicating to the public through their spokesperson, who also went on record to say they had improved their offer to 6.9%. This is a deliberate attempt to mislead the public in an attempt to pit them against the public service workers.

COSATU affiliated unions have been consistent in their commitment to find a peaceful settlement during this round of negotiations since their commencement 5 months ago on the 16th of February 2012. Labour has reviewed its initial demands several times, as a clear demonstration of negotiating in good faith. However this action failed to attract a similar commitment from the employer. We believe that this is a delaying tactic applied by the state.

This has further infuriated members belonging to the COSATU affiliated unions; (SADTU, NEHAWU, POPCRU, DENOSA, PAWUSA, SAMA, SADNU and SASAWU.) We would like to state categorically that our patience as COSATU affiliated unions has been tested to the limit. The employer has therefore left us with no option but to declare a dispute today.

For more information contact:

Chief Negotiator:

COSATU affiliated Public Service Unions
Mugwena Maluleke 011 334 4830