Home News Public sector unions picket outside Premier’s Office over wage increase

Public sector unions picket outside Premier’s Office over wage increase

Nehawu members picket outside the Premier’s Office. Pictures: Danie van der Lith

Public sector unions have approached the Constitutional Court in a bid to reinstate the 2020 wage increase.

PUBLIC sector trade unions in the Northern Cape are not convinced that there is ‘no money’ to fund the 2020 wage increase for all public servants in line with a collective agreement that was signed in 2018.

Union members picketed outside the Premier’s Office on Tuesday as part of a nationwide protest.

The unions approached the Constitutional Court on Tuesday to appeal a Labour Court and Labour Appeal Court ruling that found that the collective agreement was invalid.

National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) provincial secretary Moleme Moleme questioned where government had sourced funds to reinstate the R350 social grant and R615 million to deploy the SANDF following widespread looting and public violence, if the state coffers are depleted.

“Civil servants have not received any increases for the past two years. There is no money, but yet somehow there is money for personal protective equipment (PPE) tenders, where money is squandered. The non-payment of the wage bill also affects bonuses and pension savings. Government reneged on its agreement to pay public servants,” said Moleme.

Cosatu provincial secretary Orapeleng Moraladi said that the picket was “only the start” of protest action that would intensify should the court not rule in their favour.

“We will also consider strike action,” said Moraladi.

He added that “a few elite individuals” were benefiting from deals that were concluded through the misappropriation of Covid-19 relief funds.

“Officials who were arrested for fraud at the Northern Cape Department of Health are still receiving their salaries and were never subjected to any disciplinary proceedings. If it was any other ordinary public servant who committed these offences they would have been dismissed and locked up in jail a long time ago. Despite government’s lip service, there appears to be no political will to root out corruption. You cannot combat crime if you fail to take any action.”

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