The government has been adamant about a three-year salary freeze for public servants. Then, trade unions declared a salary dispute and warned of a nationwide strike. Now the government has backtracked, tabling a 1.5% once-off salary adjustment and a monthly cash bonus of R978.
After insisting that South Africa's 1.3 million public servants would not get salary increases or adjustments at all over the next three years, the government had an abrupt change of mind at the weekend.
In its ongoing salary negotiations on Sunday, 16 May 2021, with public sector trade unions at the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC), the government tabled a "once-off" salary adjustment of 1.5% for public servants including doctors, nurses, teachers, police officials and others. The PSCBC is where the government and trade unions negotiate the terms of employment in the public sector.
The government - represented by the department of public service and administration - sweetened the deal by offering union members a monthly cash gratuity of R978. A cash gratuity is similar to a bonus.
The once-off salary adjustment of 1.5% and cash gratuity were meant to be implemented from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022. But the government and trade...