Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Still No Solution to Looming Public Service Strike

Still no solution to looming public service strike


The public service and administration department said on Monday it would be meeting unions again this week in a bid to avert a potential strike after a deadlock in negotiations some weeks ago.

Spokesperson Dumisani Nkwamba said they were handling the matter on an "urgency basis".

"We are doing what we can to avert the strike considering matric exams are coming up.

"The minister [Richard Baloyi] plans on having another meeting some time this week with the unions," said Nkwamba.

He said unions affiliated to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) were still consulting with their members. Most members had so far rejected an offer of a 6,5% increase across the board.

Members want to strike

They were demanding, among other things, an 8,6% increase and an additional R1 000 a month housing allowance.

"Unions are still consulting their members. We will know our next step when that process is complete on Friday, but most indicated they want to strike," said SA Democratic Teachers' Union general secretary John Maluleke.

Once the mandates had been received, executive meetings at regional and provincial levels would take place to consolidate the views of members.

He said they were still awaiting correspondence from the employer in response to the impasse, with the hope that an agreement would be reached.

The strike by unions representing around 1,3 million public servants could cripple essential services in the country.

Nkwamba said they believed a solution would be reached considering a meeting was taking place between the minister and the other relevant parties.

'The onus is on the employer'

Other unions which were part of the bargaining chamber included the South African Democratic Nurses Union, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union, the Police and Prisoners' Civil Rights Union, and the SA Onderwysersunie.

Conciliation failed on June 29 and the conciliator then issued a certificate indicating that the various disputes remain unresolved.

"Our commitment to have this wage impasse resolved by making ourselves available at all times to engage with the employer. The onus is on the employer to ensure that the strike is averted,' said Maluleke. -

- Sapa

Source: Mail & Guardian Online
Web Address: http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-07-20-still-no-solution-to-looming-public-service-strike

No comments: