10 March 2023
The National Executive Committee of the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) held a special meeting last night to deliberate on the latest wage offer presented by Government at the Public Service Bargaining Council (PSCBC). SADTU is part of 53,7% of public service unions in negotiations.
These negotiations are taking place under difficult circumstances as other unions in the public service sector are boycotting the process.
The Committee expressed deep reservations about the posture of PSBC General Secretary, Frikkie De Bruin during these negotiations. The Committee accused him of dividing labour by running parallel negotiations. De Bruin has taken a unilateral decision to have a facilitation process with the unions who are boycotting negotiations and declared a dispute.
According to Bargaining Council constitution, the decision for a facilitation process must be agreed upon in Council.
He was “conveniently” not present in the last negotiations meeting when labour presented their demands. In that meeting, the Unions boycotting negotiations tried to render the meeting ungovernable. They first tried to convince the negotiators to abandon the process but failed. They then began to sing inside the chamber while negotiators were busy presenting. Their attempts again failed as unions continued to make their presentations amid the chaos.
The Committee vowed it would not allow the PSCBC to divide labour. The Bargaining Council was established through the blood and tears of workers calling for a platform where both the employer and labour could sit and iron out issues in order to ensure labour peace. We will do all to ensure that the Council continues to do its work without fear or favour and that all parties respect this platform.
The latest offer by government presented in response to the demands tabled by labour entails a pensionable salary increase and a three-year term agreement. On the housing allowance, the employer indicated they could not afford to increase the housing allowance but was willing to negotiate in future rounds of negotiations.
SADTU’s initial demands, as well as those of Unions in negotiations, are a 10% salary increase across the board, a single-term agreement and R2 500 housing subsidy. After deliberating on the latest employer offer and noting that negotiations are guided by the principle of give and take, the meeting allowed that the negotiators continue negotiating guided by the principle and considering members’ demands.
The joint labour caucus also agreed to continue with negotiations in order to ensure that workers’ conditions of employment are improved especially the notch increment which will improve their retirement savings.
ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat
General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke: 082 783 2968
Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi: 082 709 5651
Secretariat Officer, Xolani Fakude: 071355 1566
Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi: 082 719 5157