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Afrique du Sud : Public sector unions ready for national strike

D 2 août 2010     H 12:52     A Vusi Xaba     C 0 messages

Vusi Xaba, Sowetan, 2 August 2010

PUBLIC service sector unions are mounting their preparations for a potentially crippling national strike after failed talks on Thursday.

Cosatu yesterday confirmed that they were pushing ahead with mobilising and balloting their members for the strike, which might be any time from next week.

The Public Servant Association (PSA) embarked on a two-day strike on Thursday and Friday. They marched to government offices in major cities to deliver memorandums.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said the unions considered the government’s revised R10 offer on housing allowance on Thursday "an insult".

"We have not decided on the date for a full-blown strike. The strike coordinating committee has set up a programme building up to the national strike. The date for the strike will be announced if we do not reach an agreement," Dlamini said.

The unions are demanding wage increases of 8,6percent, housing allowance of R1000 and equalisation of medical aid scheme.

Minister of Public Service and Administration Richard Baloyi is offering a 6,5percent salary increase and a R630 housing allowances.

Baloyi’s spokesperson, Dumisani Nkwamba, said a task team had been set up to deal with medical aid issues.

Dlamini said the government’s claim that it did not have money was because of faulty budgetary policy.

He confirmed that protest marches would continue as planned.

The biggest marches would take place in Cape Town and Pretoria on August 10.

The PSA took to the streets last week and said they would call their members to return to work today. They would continue with the strike if the matter could not be resolved within seven days.

Source from COSATU