Nehawu is among the unions that refused to sign the deal, accusing government of reneging on the 2022/2023 settlement agreement to end the disruptive strike at healthcare facilities in parts of the country earlier this month.
FILE: Nehawu members protest for higher wages on 8 March 2023. Picture: Katlego Jiyane/Eyewitness News
JOHANNESBURG – Union National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) said it’s mulling over its next move after some unions in the public sector signed the hotly contested 2023/24 wage agreement.
Nehawu is among the unions that refused to sign the deal accusing government of reneging on the 2022/23 settlement agreement to end the disruptive strike at healthcare facilities in parts of the country earlier this month.
The union said among the terms of the agreement were promises to include the outstanding grievances in the fresh negotiations for the 2023/24 financial year.
A wage agreement has since been signed for 2023 but Nehawu said government failed to honour the 2022 settlement agreement angering the union.
Four unions have refused to sign government’s final wage offer of an average 7.5% for the 2023/24 financial year.
Nurses union Denosa (Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa), police unions Popcru (Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union) and the South African Policing Union (Sapu) have joined Nehawu’s rejection of the offer.
READ: Nehawu won’t budge on new public sector wage until 2022/23 deal reached
Despite snubbing the deal, the agreement will still take effect on 1 April after it won majority support from other unions in the public service coordinating bargaining council.
“It’s of course going to be binding to all of us and it’s unfortunate that it came to that point without us having actually concluded the dispute of 2022,” said Nehawu spokesperson Lwazi Nkolonzi.
READ: Majority of public sector unions sign wage deal with govt
Nkolonzi said the union is set to meet soon to decide on a way forward.
“And we are still going to be fighting for that, up until it has been concluded.”
Nkolonzi doesn’t dismiss the possibility of further strike action.