In National News Flash 7 of 2022 members were alerted that a survey would be conducted on several issues in order for NAPTOSA to determine its demands for the 2022 wage negotiations.
National News Flash 9 of 2022 captured the results of the survey, indicating overwhelming support for the issues to form NAPTOSA’s demands.
Members were also reminded that NAPTOSA’s demands would be feeding into further Labour structures and that in this process of discussions and compromises the demands of individual unions may be adapted or left off the final consolidated Labour demands. The consolidation process has now been concluded and the consolidated demands democratically determined.
We are happy to report that the majority of our demands, as supported by our members, have been accommodated in Labour’s final set of demands which are the following:
- Term of agreement – 1 year agreement (NAPTOSA position)
- Salary increase – 10% across-the-board (higher than initial NAPTOSA position)
- Housing allowance – increase to R 2 500 p.m. (NAPTOSA position)
- Housing allowance – pay out of accumulated funds in the individual-linked savings facility upon resignation (NAPTOSA position)
- Encashment of capped leave – (NAPTOSA position)
- Recruitment and selection processes – finalisation of resolution on the matter (in line with NAPTOSA’s position on filling of posts)
- Pay progression – demand for proper adherence to the provisions of PSCBC Resolution 1 of 2018 across all sectors of the public service.
- State of Disaster – finalisation of a resolution on conditions of service during state of disaster periods (working arrangements, leave provisions, etc.).
- Contract workers - permanent appointment of contract workers such as Teacher Assistants.
- Disaster salary – payment of a top up of 12% of basic salary to frontline workers during disasters such as COVID.
- Bursary – introduction of a bursary scheme for children of public servants (supported by NAPTOSA in previous wage negotiations)
- Abolishment of salary levels 1 to 3 – entry into the public service to be at salary level 4.
- Pension Fund – access to funds (linked to National Treasury’s investigation into possible limited withdrawals from private pension funds).
- GEMS – the medical aid subsidy to increase by 2,6% over the Medical Price Index that is used to annually increase the subsidy.
The one NAPTOSA demand that unfortunately did not make it into the final consolidated Labour demands was the demand to improve the financial reward for improved qualifications.
As indicated above, the demand for a salary increase was settled among the unions at 10% across-the-board, which is a touch higher than NAPTOSA’s initial position. To improve the baseline salaries of public servants (pensionable salaries), the cash allowance, currently payable to public servants in terms of PSCBC Resolution 1 of 2021, and which is to lapse once a wage agreement for 2022/23 has been reached, is included in the 10% demand.
The salary demand must also be viewed against the background that public servants have not had a pensionable salary increase for two years and that the three main items which drive the expenditure of members (food, electricity and transport (fuel)) are increasing at rates that are way above the CPI and yet they are weighed very low in the CPI basket.
Research done by Labour has also shown that the claims by the employer that above-inflation increases granted to public servants over the period 2006/7 to 2019/20 have had a major impact on public debt, is not correct. Public service wages have only had a 6,6% impact on public debt over the same period. As for the public service head count that is always raised as a key element in the negotiations, figures indicate that public service employment has in fact declined by approximately 2,7% between 1994 and 2021.
As part of Labour’s demand package, a demand has been included that the State as employer must, at the commencement of the negotiations, submit to the PSCBC a written confirmation from National Treasury that the persons negotiating on behalf of the DPSA (representing the employer), carry the required mandate from Treasury for the cost implications of any agreement entered into. This is a crucial demand to prevent a repeat of 2020 fiasco where the Labour Appeal Court (later supported by a judgement of the Constitutional Court) found that clause 3.3 of PSCBC Resolution 1 of 2018 (the 2020 negotiated salary increase) was unlawful in that it contravened the Constitution, 1996, and the Public Service Regulations, 2016, because the DPSA had failed to obtain the required approval from National Treasury. In National News Flash 12 of 2020 NAPTOSA raised a similar argument that the employer’s negotiators in future ought to be required to submit affidavits to prove that they are mandated by National Treasury when they table any offer(s).
The negotiation process is inherently a process of give and take and of compromises. We will only seriously enter this phase when we receive the employer’s response to Labour’s demands. As in the past, NAPTOSA will keep members informed throughout the negotiation process.
Let’s trust that the employer will enter the negotiations in good faith.