No increase in government offer could see strike notice issued
PUBLIC service unions and the Department of Public Service and Administration will have to reach a compromise as wage talks go for mediation.
The wage increase talks collapsed after unions accused government negotiators of unilaterally announcing an increase that was not acceptable to workers.
Minister of Public Service and Administration Lindiwe Sisulu called on unions to recommit themselves to finding a solution after they declared a dispute last week.
And unless the government improves the 6.7% wage increase initially promised to public service workers, unions could issue a strike notice.
After holding talks with workers' leaders last week, Sisulu's office released a statement praising the union.
"Labour leaders showed a great deal of sensitivity towards the complex issues facing the state and were very receptive to a social accord between labour and government.
"This is a significant step forward in the ongoing talks, and signals a new perspective on government's relations with labour."
Should unions embark on a strike nurses, teachers, police and doctors would down tools.
The margins of what unions are demanding - 8% - and government's offer of 6.7%, are wide.
A teacher with a three-year diploma currently earns R121,548 per annum (pa), and the government wants to improve teachers' salaries to R129,692 pa.
Unions are demanding an increase to R131,150 pa.
A teacher with a university degree currently earns R162,354 pa. The government offer will see the salary increase to R172,907 pa, and unions are asking for R175,342 pa.
A head of department currently earns R204,102 pa, government offer is R217,369 pa and the union demands R220,430 pa.
A school's deputy principal earns R243,021, the government offer is R258,817 and the unions want R262,463.
Principals earn between R204,102 and R414,021, and the government is offering R217,369 to R440,932.
The unions are demanding R220,430 to R447,143.