The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has noted the Public Servants Association's (PSA), decision to opt for the legal route in an effort to find a solution to the matter of salary increase between the union and the revenue service.
Just before the end of the financial year, SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter, communicated with employees on ongoing discussions with the broader executive leadership and organised labour regarding implications of budget allocation on SARS' financial resources, which remains a serious challenge.
"SARS, like other government entities, is subject to national budget allocation from National Treasury. It is a well-known fact that the economy has been adversely affected, like never before, by the pandemic. SARS' funding has similarly been affected," said the revenue collector in a statement on Thursday.
SARS and the unions convened on 6 April 2021 to explore opportunities in the current situation, and specifically engaged on issues of the Employee Value Proposition.
"Organised labour gave input on such, and will continue to engage SARS thereon," the revenue collector said.
On 7 April 2021, all parties dealt with the implementation of the final year of the three-year substantive wage agreement.
SARS said it indicated to unions that the "unfortunate reality" was that SARS was unable to pay salary increases for 2021/22, due to its budget allocation not catering for increments.
"It behoves all of us to act in a manner that takes into account the daunting challenges facing our country. Our country is faced with unacceptably high unemployment, and indeed, those of us who have this privilege of continued work, must tamper with our expectations, when we make legitimate demands. It is of importance, therefore, that we take steps that will help arrest such further financial deterioration in our country," it said.
The revenue service said it respects organised labour's right to act in a manner that advances the interest of their members by considering legal remedies.