Home South African State IT agency offers striking employees R26 million ‘sweetener’ to return to...

State IT agency offers striking employees R26 million ‘sweetener’ to return to work

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The State Information Technology Agency has dangled a massive R26 million carrot to be shared by its more than 3,100 employees in a bid to end their week-long strike.

Striking Sita employees have been offered a 5% salary increase and a once-off R8,300 ex-gratia payment to return to their workstations. File picture: Pexels

THE STATE Information Technology Agency (Sita) has dangled a massive R26 million carrot to be shared by its more than 3,100 employees in a bid to end their week-long strike.

In addition, Sita has increased its offer to hike their salaries to 5%, up from 4.5%, and has undertaken to pay this on Wednesday, October 25, backdated to April this year.

According to the agency’s draft agreement presented to the Public Servants Association (PSA), which represents 80% of the entire total Sita workforce, 3,103 employees will each receive an R8 326.45 once-off ex-gratia payment to be paid next month but it will be subject to statutory deductions.

The draft agreement states that should the PSA sign it, the union will immediately cease to embark in industrial action during wage negotiations for the 2023/24 financial year.

Sita management has also undertaken to seek a mandate from the agency’s board to exempt employees who participated in industrial action from a principle of “no work, no pay”.

PSA general manager said the union was pushing for leave without pay (no work, no pay) to be waived by Sita.

The agency’s management will also seek approval from the board to make the additional millions of rand available for the ex-gratia payment.

The PSA described the latest offer as a “sweetener” and a “last-ditch effort to prevent any further industrial action”.

“The detrimental effect of the strike action resulted in the employer arranging a number of meetings with their principals and the PSA to try and resolve the impasse. The planned major march on October 23 forced the employer to revise its offer,” the union said.

PSA members have until Tuesday to indicate whether or not they accept the latest offer.

“It must be stressed that the PSA will only accept the offer once the majority of members have provided a mandate. The sacrifice made by members that embarked on industrial action cannot go unnoticed as it was the efforts of these members that forced the employer to improve their offer,” the PSA added.

Sita has activated its contingency plans to mitigate the impact of the industrial action on service delivery to the government including reconstituting structures responsible for operational oversight and business continuity.

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