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Public servants unhappy with wage increase offer

Jun 23, 2022

By Neelam Rahim

The government has officially tabled salary increase offers of up to 7.5% for the majority of public servants. At the same time, there is outrage over substantial pay increases for MPs, ministers and their deputies. Parliament has defended the pay increases, saying they are not highly paid when benchmarked against their international counterparts and have a lot of oversight responsibilities. 

Radio Islam discusses with the Public Servants Association’s Reuben Maleka.

Reuben said his stance on the decision by President Ramaphosa to accept recommendations to increase the salaries of politicians and other government officials by 3% is outrageous and unexpected.

“We believe that it is also irrational. During 2020 as public servants, we have not received an increase. The Conservative Court outcome was agreed that government does not have money and cannot afford our salary increases. That’sThat’s the decision of the Conservative Court of 28th February 2022 up to now. Then we get this decision that also gives the same judges parliamentarians 3% regulated to the end where they said the government could not afford salaries. It’sIt’s hypocritical to make that kind of decision against what the Conservative Court has said. So therefore, we believe that this President’s decision is incorrect.”

The figure of increase for public servants is reportedly at seven core 5%. Perhaps you could unpack for us what reality is expected, the expected increases?

Rueben says, “That is not true. There’sThere’s no 7.5 on the table. We have 3% on the table. And currently, we are still in negotiations as I speak right now. We have been in the negotiations until midnight this morning, and I still await feedback.”

Government is under enormous pressure to cut the Public Services wage bill.

“Cut off the wage bill starts with the 3% the President has given. The wage bill includes them. This wage bill that they speak about is not only spoken to only public servants. They talk about also themselves. So if they want to cut, they must start with that offer of 3%. They must reject it. The parliamentarians, the judges themselves, before even the President reconsider it, they should also write back the President, thank you very much, we don’t accept 3%,” says Rueben.

This is where we stand regarding the government and the public servants. Their negotiation seems to be at a deadlock at the moment.



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