THE SA Democratic Teachers Union has taken a decision to continue negotiating with government regarding the thorny issue of the wage freeze before embarking on any strike action.
The decision follows SADTU’s national executive committee meeting held on Monday and Tuesday to discuss the ongoing impasse related to the 2018 three-year public wage agreement signed between unions and government.
In a statement, SADTU said that should the employer frustrate the current negotiations by insisting on the wage freeze, the union shall have no option but to ballot members to go on a strike.
“The Union is against austerity measures because such measures destroy the possibility of addressing the inequality and put brakes on economic recovery. The Union will not tolerate the destruction of the collective bargaining right,” SADTU said in a statement issued by spokesperson, Nomusa Cembi.
“The NEC condemned government’s threat to freeze public servants wages. If the freeze was to be implemented, public servants like other education workers would not afford the basic needs, let alone keep up with the rising costs of living that have been drastically increased by the pandemic.”
SADTU said freezing of salaries will in no way contribute to economic development.
“Freezing of salaries will in no way contribute to economic development, for it is an established fact that, where don’t have, lesser buying power, with little circulation of money, no economy will grow,” said Cembi.
“The freezing of salaries has demoralised workers and is working against the any dream of achieving an effective and efficient developmental state. Public Servants are heavily hungry and no NORMAL employer can expect them to excel at work.”
The public sector unions are demanding that government honours its three-year wage agreement of 8%.
The matter has caused massive tension between government and public servants.
As part of the 2018 three-year salary agreement, public sector workers would have received a CPI+1% salary increase in 2020.
However, due to the dire financial state of the country and complications brought about by Covid-19, the government said it was forced to renege on the agreement, implementing a wage freeze instead.
- Inside Politics