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Afrique du Sud : Public Service strike begins in earnest

D 19 août 2010     H 11:35     A     C 0 messages

The COSATU Public Service Unions and the Independent Labour Caucus (ILC) last Friday called a press conference where we pointed out that we have been patiently trying to persuade the employer to present a revised offer different to the one that was rejected by the workers which was a 6.5% wage increase and a housing allowance of R630.00.

Having served the employer with the notice to strike two mass marches were then held in Pretoria and Cape Town on the 10th of August 2010.The employer then responded by presenting a last minute revised offer of 7% wage increase last week but left the housing allowance unchanged at R630.

We made it clear at the time that we were not going to entertain that offer because we wanted all our priority demands to be treated as a package which meant that the wage increase needed to be complemented by the housing allowance and other outstanding demands.

Our marches nationwide were hugely successful and the employer’s response was to invite us back to the Council where a revised offer of a R700 housing allowance was presented to complement the offer of a 7% wage increase.

We indicated to the State as employer that we were not satisfied with the following issues :

· The elimination of discrimination based on marital status with regard to the housing allowance ;

· The process to be followed to effect the equalisation of medical subsidy ;

· The medical aid subsidy for pensioners ;

· The synchronisation of the bargaining and budgetary process with the aim to establish 1 April for the annual adjustment date ; and

· The processes to finalise the outstanding matters emanating from 2007 and 2009.

We made it clear to the employer that our members were resolute in their pursuit of the original demands of 8.6% wage increase and housing allowance of R1000 per month but promised that we were going to take the offer to our members for their consideration and report back today.

Today we want to announce that after four-day consultation process members within the Cosatu block and the ILC have unanimously rejected the offer and have insisted on the 8, 6% and R1000 housing allowance. Starting tomorrow 18th of August 2010 the strike for public service unions will continue until such time that the employer accedes to the demands of the workers.

We will be having pickets in all our workstations staring tomorrow and on the 26th of this month we will be having mass marches across the country in all nine provinces. The unions would also like to categorically deny the allegations and reports that are going around that the employer tabled a revised offer of 9% that was rejected by the unions.

The offer on the table still remains a 7% wage increase and a R700 housing allowance and there has been no movement on any other outstanding issues.

Source : From COSATU