Service charter for higher productivity
New Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu wants stability and proper planning after signing three-year wage deal
Public sector unions and the government reached a wage settlement last night after six months of intense negotiations.
The agreement has been spread over three years.
Public servants will receive 7% this year, and between 2013 and 2015 the salary increase will be based on the consumer price index (CPI) plus 1%.
"This three-year agreement allows for the employer and labour to implement all elements of the agreement, the three years are also in line with [the] government planning cycle and to ensure stability and proper planning for both parties," Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said in a statement.
"We recognise the commitment to an effective public service shown by labour unions throughout this negotiations process.
"This agreement lays a foundation for further processes of development of a service charter aimed at higher productivity in the public sector," she said.
Negotiations were derailed last month after unions declared a dispute because the government unilaterally dropped its offer from 6,9% to 6,7%.
Cosatu-affiliated unions, Sadtu, Nehawu, Popcru, Denosa, Pawusa, Sama, Sadnu and Sasawu, and the independent unions, accused the government of being dishonest and they threatened a strike action.
Cosatu's affiliates and the Independent Labour Caucus (ILC), which represented 11 independent unions, also agreed on a housing allowance of R900, an improvement of R100.
Popcru deputy president Nkosinathi Mabhida, who was part of the negotiations, told Sowetan that public sector unions were satisfied with the deal after consulting their members.
"We were able to find an amicable solution largely because of the willingness of government to settle this matter that has been dragging for months," Mabhida said.
Sisulu said that, as part of the agreement, the government and labour have committed themselves to a working relationship towards a service delivery accord that will ensure high productivity, efficiency and professionalism in the public service.
"The State also committed to invest in public servants through skilling and empowerment to ensure higher productivity in the public service," she said.