The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] is angered by the absurd decision by President Cyril Ramaphosa to increase the remuneration for Public Office Bearers by three (3) percent, which is retrospectively from 01st April 2021.
This irrational decision to increase the remuneration follows the recommendation by Independent Commission for Remuneration of Public Office Bearers. In April 2022, as NEHAWU, we rejected in the strongest terms the proposed 3% salary increase for Public Office Bearers by the Independent Commission for the Remuneration and called on President Ramaphosa to ignore the recommendation.
As NEHAWU, we are taken aback by this decision by President Ramaphosa amidst the context of a country confronted with record of high level of unemployment, extreme poverty and social inequality. What is further infuriating about this increase in remuneration for public office bearers is that government has been persistent with austerity programmes and reversing the gains of workers by mainly focusing on freezing salaries of public servants in order to reduce the public sector wage bill, whilst politicians and judges are to receive salary increases which public servants were denied.
The decision to increase remuneration for public office bearers occurs when government is hell-bent on not paying public service workers who are owed by the state as a result of refusing to implement the collective bargaining resolution – Resolution 1 of 2018. This is even evident in the current round of public service wage negotiations, where the government tabled a zero percent increment and rejected all other demands tabled by trade unions.
Since the beginning of the current public service wage negotiations, we have been frustrated by the employer at the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council [PSCBC] as they claim that government has no money yet the President has decided to be generous to public office bearers by giving them remuneration increase while workers and ordinary citizens are on the receiving end with many experiencing financial hardships amidst the escalating cost of living.
There is absolute no justification why Public Office Bearers should be getting a remuneration increase especially with all challenges confronting the country instead they should be putting their energies and focus on getting the country on the road to recovery.
Lastly, as NEHAWU, we call on the President and his government to do the same for public service workers and pay them their salary increment as per the tabled demands at the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Lwazi Nkolonzi (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 081 558 2335 or email: email@example.com