The representative of various parastatal employees, the South African Union of Parastatals and Tertiary Institutions (Saptu), says it is ready to challenge the government over unfair salary increases for its members.
Employees last received a raise in 2019, and that was only adjusted for inflation, according to a statement released by the union on Friday.
The union says the government is “unfair” and “unreasonable” in its adjustments, as current cabinet members received a 3% increase and Eskom workers received a 7% salary adjustment for 2022/23.
“The increase in the cost of living affects every resident of South Africa. Not just certain individuals,” says Saptu’s general secretary, lawyer Ben van der Walt.
“Inflation alone is now 7.4%, and offering our members only 2% is like a slap in the face,” he adds.
“The state is simply unreasonable. We cannot tolerate this. Saptu members can count on us to work in their best interest and we assure them that we are doing everything in our power to give them justice and simply increase.”
Increase in salaries of civil servants
The Public Service Negotiations Co-ordinating Council notes in its July 2021 wage negotiation statement that the government has offered civil servants a 1.5% increase and a cash allowance of 1000 rand, resulting in an 11.7% increase for civil servants with the lowest salary.
The proposal provides a minimum cash equivalent of R1 000 for all employees at all levels of employment.
“This adjusted offer means Tier 1 employees receive an amount equal to the cost of living adjustment [consumer price index] CPI [plus] 7.5%, or an increase of 11% compared to the current level of wages,” the report says.
“For example, level 6 employees will receive an amount equal to the CPI cost-of-living adjustment [plus] 2.1% and level 10 employees will receive an amount equal to the CPI (4.2%)”.
The agreement entered into in April 2021, with the agreement entered into in July 2021, allows for a “security agreement” that obligates the employer to continue paying cash benefits until it is formally changed by agreement of the parties.
Cash benefits are still being paid to all workers.
Palesa Mofokeng is a Moneyweb intern.