Cape Town – The Public Servants Association (PSA) on Thursday said it had briefed lawyers after receiving no confirmation from Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu that civil servants would receive their negotiated salary increases.
The increases were based on a three-year wage agreement reached in 2018 and are due this month.
The PSA, which represents nearly a quarter of a million workers in the public sector, said it had asked the government months ago to confirm the agreed increases would be paid and had also directly approached Mchunu.
“This uncertainty comes at a critical time when the minister and government are calling on employees who are at the forefront of delivering essential services to the public during the Covid-19 pandemic. Employees work under testing conditions and are exposed to infection because of a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE).”
The PSA said its members’ patience was wearing thin and it regarded Mchunu’s failure to affirm a binding agreement as “seriously disrespectful”.
“The PSA has already engaged its attorneys to approach the court for relief and repeated its call on government to abide by the agreement as failure to implement the last leg of the three-year salary agreement without delay will have serious repercussions.”
The 2018 agreement saw government agree to pay lower-level employees salary increases of a projected consumer price index (CPI) plus 1%. Higher-level employees would receive CPI plus 0.5%.
Mchunu last week said that although the coronavirus health crisis was piling more pressure on an economy already in recession, the government remained committed to paying increases, but at issue was how these would be introduced and the agreement implemented.
On Thursday, his office said it would not comment, for the moment, beyond that statement.
African News Agency/ANA
By ANA Reporter