Parties still at loggerheads over wage hike

COSATU's public sector unions plan to consult members on whether to embark on a strike or not.

COSATU's public sector unions plan to consult members on whether to embark on a strike or not.

SA Democratic Teachers Union general secretary Mugwena Maluleke said they were waiting for teachers to return to school today.

"The majority of our members are teachers. We will meet and take a mandate from the public servants as soon as the consultations are over," said Maluleke.

Fedusa and Cosatu-affiliated public sector unions, which jointly represent over one million civil servants, are demanding an 8,6percent salary increase.

They are also demanding a R1000 housing allowance.

The state is offering a 6,5percent raise and a R620 housing allowance.

A dispute was declared last month when the conciliator issued the unions with a certificate to strike.

Fedusa general secretary Gretchen Humphries said her federation would meet the Minister of Public Service and Administration Patrick Baloyi tomorrow in an effort to avoid a strike.

Humphries said: "We are meeting the minister and are hopeful that an agreement will be reached."

Maluleke said the Cosatu affiliates were not aware of the meeting, and that they were not invited.

Maluleke said the unions also demand an equitable subsidy for medical aid.

"Government is discriminating against non-members of the Government Employees Medical Scheme (Gems).

"Members of other schemes get a R1014 subsidy, while Gems members receive R2070.

"This disparity must end," Maluleke said.

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