Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu has, on behalf of government, welcomed the conclusion of the collective agreement on wage increases in the public service.
The collective agreement was signed by the majority of labour unions, which include the South African Democratic Teacher's Union (SADTU), the National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA), the Health & Other Services Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (HOSPERSA), the Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA) and the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA).
Having occurred in the context of a global recession, the country's dire fiscal constraints as well as COVID-19, the Minister has on numerous occasions said these were the most difficult negotiations between government and Labour.
"Your sacrifices during these negotiations did not go unnoticed, late hours, minimal sleep and increased workloads are but some of the things you have had to endure.
"Thank you for your leadership, thank you for negotiating with the interests of public servants and the citizens at heart. As we prepare to engage on the way forward, let us meet as patriotic citizens and not as adversaries," Minister Mchunu said, thanking all those who played a critical role in the negotiations on behalf of government as well as labour.
In April this year, talks between the government and the unions resumed at the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council for the State's negotiators to respond to workers' demands.
At that time, Mchunu announced that government had appointed an independent facilitator to ensure that negotiations succeed.
During the negotiations, government was offering 1.5 percent increase and the unions were demanding a consumer price index (CPI) increase, which is projected at 3.1%, plus a 4% across the board increase on the cost-of-living adjustment.
At the negotiations, there were eight unions representing 1.2 million State employees in national and provincial government departments.
These were Nehawu, Denosa, Hospersa, Naptosa, Popcru, PSA, Sadtu and Sapu.