Civil ser­vice unions back out of wage deal

CityPress - - Business - – Bloomberg

Labour unions rep­re­sent­ing most of the coun­try’s 1.3 mil­lion civil ser­vants de­cided to with­draw from a three-year pay deal with the state be­cause of a dis­pute over its im­ple­men­ta­tion, a union spokesper­son said.

While a May 19 2015 ac­cord pro­vides for a 7% rise in salaries from April 1 this year, gov­ern­ment de­part­ments were told to in­crease them by 6.4%. State of­fi­cials said the lower pay­ment was jus­ti­fied be­cause in­fla­tion in­creased less than fore­cast in the year that ended March 31 2015, mean­ing work­ers had been over­paid un­der a pre­vi­ous three-year pay deal.

“The unions have de­cided to with­draw from the agree­ment [un­til lawyers clar­ify the terms of the deal],” Sizwe Pamla, a spokesper­son for the Na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion, Health and Al­lied Work­ers’ Union (Nehawu), said dur­ing a phone in­ter­view.

Brent Simon, a spokesper­son for the public ser­vice and ad­min­is­tra­tion min­istry, said the gov­ern­ment would re­fund work­ers if lawyers found that it was not en­ti­tled to claw back the over­pay­ment. “The unions are be­ing a bit disin­gen­u­ous,” he said. The pay deal ac­cepted by the unions in 2012 stip­u­lated that salaries would be ad­justed to re­flect the ac­tual in­fla­tion rate, ac­cord­ing to Simon.

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