On 3 March 2021 NAPTOSA released National News Flash 12 of 2021 in which members were informed about the wage demands tabled by labour on 1 March 2021. The first round of negotiations took place from 29 -30 March 2021.

Salary negotiations resumed again on Thursday, 15 April 2021 at the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC).

Labour and the employer could not find each as many of the demands presented by labour were rejected with counter proposals from the employer not helpful to draw parties closer together. The employer indicated that approximately 1,4% had been budgeted in the wage bill to address employment growth, maintain existing benefits such pay progression, housing allowance and medical subsidy.

Labour was taken aback by the employer’s pronouncement of a 0% budget for the Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA). It was however not all gloom and doom. After jostling for a while with one caucus after the other, the employer requested a period of one week to go back to their principals to seek a new mandate.

The next meeting has been scheduled for the 23 April 2021. We hope the employer will come back with a reasonable offer.

Public servants are already under intense financial pressure after not having received increases in 2020. With significant price increases now facing consumers, there are concerns that the cost of living will increase dramatically, making it impossible for many public service employees to make ends meet. The escalating fuel prices, increased electricity tariffs and increases on food prices have not made life easier for the workers.

The employer has been made aware of all these factors. We look forward to a meaningful engagement on the 23 April 2021. Members will be updated on developments as they happen.