The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] has been observing the insistence by government to forge ahead with its intention to dishonour the 2018 public wage agreement even after workers made it unequivocally clear that they will not agree to any reversal of their hard-won gains.
As things stand, it is crystal clear that government has no intention of honouring the last leg of the PSCBC Resolution 1 of 2018 clause 3.3. As far NEHAWU is concerned, our members and public service workers expect government to implement the agreement to the letter i.e. across the board adjustment to the cost of living by CPI plus 1% for salary level 1 – 7 and CPI plus 0.5% for salary level 8 – 10.
No trade-union worthy of its existence can even consider entering into a discussion to worsen the terms and conditions of work of its members and the working-class in general. It is simply unrealistic on the part of government to even contemplate this. The African National Congress [ANC] government must know that there are major and unprecedented consequences in slashing the salaries of ordinary workers and undermining collective bargaining, while implementing a budget that reduces allocations to the basic needs of the working class including housing, subsidy for public rail transport, health and education.
Organised labour at the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council [PSCBC] has already requested from the Minister of Public Service and Administration whether or not government intends to renege or dishonour this agreement and thus undermining collective bargaining in the public sector. Together with other unions, NEHAWU tomorrow shall attend a meeting with the Minister with the hope that he will provide us with a clear answer, on the basis of which we will consider our options. However, the National Political Commission has directed all our national, provincial and regional structures to prepare for a process of proper consultations with all our members and to start mobilising for a national day of action to take place on the 30th March 2020.
After the national day of action if government continues with reneging on the current agreement we will be left no option but to embark on rolling mass action. We , therefore, want to send a clear message to everyone that there will be no negotiations on the current agreement as it exists. The only negotiations we will entertain with the government is the conclusion of a new agreement following the lapse of the current agreement. Hence our upcoming National Organising and Collective Bargain Conference scheduled for the 26 to 28 June 2020 will also guide our posture towards the next round of negotiations.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 082 455 2500 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org