The Public Employees Association (PSA), one of the largest unions in the South African public sector, is dragging the government to court over the planned pay cut of public service workers.
The union filed a salary dispute with the Labor Court on Friday over the government’s decision to go back on an agreement on salary increases over the next few years.
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has touted his budget that the public service’s salary bill will be about R160 billion less than budgeted for in the medium-term spending framework. This is an effort to save money despite the fact that the government committed itself to specific salary increases for three years.
Of this, only two years have expired, but the state’s financial position is now so distressed that the state deviated from it by initially offering 0%.
However, the PSA’s position is that the government is committed to the agreement on employers’ salaries until March 31 next year. “The state now wants to renegotiate this agreement, but the PSA is opposed to any such re-negotiation. The trade union believes that our members have a contractual right to salary increases as agreed. This right can only be enforced by the Labor Court, ”the trade union said on Friday.