The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) has noted the efforts by government to further undermine collective bargaining by attempting to unilaterally impose on the public service a salary adjustment offer that has been overwhelmingly been rejected by majority unions.
In their latest attempt, through leaked communique, the Minister of Public Service and Administration issued a note regarding the process aimed at finalising the current public service salary negotiations which seek to legitimise the unilateral implementation of a salary adjustment by relying on section 5(5)(b) of the Public Service Act, which provides that the last offer can be implemented in the event of a deadlock.
This latest move by the government does not take into account that in the Council meeting that took place on the 3rd of October 2022, where the 3% and the non-pensionable gratuity of R1000 offer did not receive majority support, hence in terms of the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) constitution, clause 17.10 which states that in an event that the draft resolution, which has been circulated for 21 days, does not reach a majority status, the resolution then falls off.
The labour parties that are not in support of the offer have a right to declare a dispute, hence POPCRU, NEHAWU and DENOSA formally declared a dispute in the Council meeting, and further filed for conciliation which will take place on the 31st of October 2022 to the 1st of November 2022.
This means there is currently no offer, and the Minister attempt at finalising anything is misplaced. Government negotiators have clearly misled him, and their continued failure to fully implement previous collective agreements not only demonstrates their arrogance, but goes to show that they are hell-bent on destroying collective bargaining.
We strongly warn against these tactics, and should government implement this unilateral wage offer, they would have declared war on workers, and will be subjected to an unrelenting fight back.
Issued by POPCRU
For more information contact Richard Mamabolo on 066 135 4349