Union agenda cheapens reward

Enough now, it's time to settle the public servants' strike.

Enough now, it's time to settle the public servants' strike.

Many devoted civil servants do not earn what they are worth, others grub at the public trough but do little for the common good.

Unfortunately, the talks between the government and the unions won't resolve these issues. These negotiations were only incidentally about rewarding civil servants fairly for their labour. This round was more about the flexing of muscles before the ANC policy conference next week.

It is not insensible to argue that the government could not have afforded the blanket 12percent across-the-board increase demanded by the unions. From the beginning they insisted that whatever increase were negotiated be applied to everyone, highly productive or barely sentient.

Meanwhile society at large and the striking workers in particular have suffered immeasurable harm.

Most teachers, nurses, doctors, police officers and a few other government professionals deserve way more than they will get out of these negotiations. But the violence and brazen politicking that accompanied the talks risk losing the virtuous whatever gain they might extract.

Settle now for a figure above inflation, but hold the government accountable for restructuring the civil service.

The salaries of those who keep our schools, hospitals and police stations running should fairly reflect the value they contribute to society.