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STATEMENT BY MR BASIL MANUEL, CHAIRPERSON OF THE INDEPENDENT LABOUR CAUCUS, REGARDING THE WAGE NEGOTIATIONS IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE

The Independent Labour Caucus(ILC) in the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC)on the weekend added its voice to those of other public service unions in bemoaning the intransigence displayed by the State as Employer in the current salary negotiations. Speaking in Pretoria, Mr Manuel, Chairperson of the ILC, said that he cannot recall bad faith bargaining of this order in the PSCBC before. "On the very day that Labour tables a revised demand of 10% - down from the original 15% - the Employer informs the unions that its offer of 5,8% has now been reduced to 4,8%", said Mr Manuel.

According to him this just adds insult to injury, because the Employer has been dragging out the negotiations and have shown very little intent concluding a collective agreement on wages. "It is probably because they were already aware of National Treasury's downward variation of the projected CPI for 2015/16", said Mr Manuel.

When the negotiations resumed in January 2015 the Employer gave no inclination that its offer had changed or was likely to change."It is hard to believe that the Employer was not aware of this, otherwise it merely confirms that the employer in the public service works in absolute silos - the one hand not knowing what the other is doing. For the Employer to wait another two months before ingeniously introducing the reduced offer into the negotiations is bad faith in any terms" he said.
Mr Manuel reiterated the ILC's demand for a 10% wage increase and said that the Employer would have to table an improved offer (better than the original 5,8%) soon if it wishes to start repairing the relationship with Labour and avoid a serious breakdown in the negotiation process.
END OF STATEMENT
Enquiries: Mr Basil Manuel - 079 508 6228