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Public service dept says signed wage offer binding to all PSCBC union employees

Despite pushback from four unions who refused to sign the offer, including Nehawu, the department said the deal would be taking effect on Saturday.

FILE: Nehawu nationwide protest over wages on 08 March 2023. Picture: @_cosatu/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – The Department of Public Service and Administration said the signed wage offer for 2023/24 was binding on all government employees represented by unions in the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC).

Despite pushback from four unions who refused to sign the offer, it still received majority support from other unions in the labour council.

The National Education, Health, and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) accused government of reneging on the 2022 ceasefire agreement, which ended the disruptive strike at healthcare facilities earlier in March.

But government denied going back on its word.

Public Service and Administration spokesperson Moses Mushi said the 2023 deal took effect on Saturday.

“The employer offer has been signed as a resolution of the council and is binding on all parties to the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council,” Mushi said.

“The settlement agreement for 2023/24 that has been signed entails the following provisions: a two-year multi-term agreement for the financial year 2023/24 and financial year 2024/25; pensionable salary increases of 7.5% for employees on levels 1 to 12 packaged as follows: the translation of the current non-pensionable cash gratuity at the value of 4.2% on the baseline and a nominal increase of 3.3% across the board.”

READ: Workers justified to demand wage increases – Cosatu

However, Nehawu still wanted government to resolve outstanding issues from the 2022 negotiations.

“As Nehawu, we are not mandated for 2023/24. We have not been given any mandate. Our mandate was to fight for the 2022/23 dispute to its logical conclusions,” said Nehawu spokesperson Lwazi Nkolonzi.

“So, we are not part of the 53% unions that are signing because we do not have that mandate from our members to sign on that offer that government has presented.”

Nkolonzi said the union was mulling its next move.

“We are going to use every avenue at our disposal and we’re still going to be fighting for that up until it has been concluded.”



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