THE GOVERNMENT has tabled a revised offer of 6,2percent for public servants.

Labour unions declared a dispute last week after the government offered them 5,2percent. The offer was upped to 5,3percent the but unions would not budge.

Department of Public ServiceandAdministration spokespersonDumisani Nkwamba confirmed that the offer had been upped to 6,2percent.

Nkwamba said: "Negotiations between parties continued until the early hours of the morning. There is progress on the tabled issues."

Last week unions warned that failure to reach an agreement soon could cause public servants, including those in essential services such as the police, nurses and teachers, to down tools.

South African Democratic Teachers Union general secretary Mugwena Maluleke said: "We want them to improve it again.

It doesn't come close to what we are demanding."

Unions also claim the government has refused to consider their demand for an equal subsidy for medical aid and they said the employer was not keen to discuss demands for improvedhousing allowances.

Unions want the employer to increase the housing allowance from R500 to R1650 a month.

South African Police Union general secretary Oscar Skommere said the union was also unhappy with the offer.

"We encourage our members to support the World Cup. But, we have to guard against exploitation."