Cabinet hopes for settlement to avert magistrates’ strike

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pretoria - Cabinet says it is hopeful that talks with magistrates will yield results and the possible strike will be averted.

This comes as magistrates across the country have threatened to go on strike from Monday over what they say is a minimal pay increase.

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Justice has approved a 5.5% salary increase for magistrates.

The 5.5% recommendation made by the Independent Remuneration Commission has to be approved by both Houses of Parliament before the end of this month if the magistrates are to receive their increase backdated to last April.

Associations representing the magistrates have rejected the 5.5% increase, saying they were not properly consulted before the commission made the determination on their salaries.

Briefing the media after their regular meeting, Acting Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams said currently, the recommendation is being referred to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for further processing. 

Williams said the issues raised by the magistrates were being treated with due urgency and hoped they would be resolved.

Williams said the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has put in place measures should there be no agreement.

“Cabinet wishes to assure the public that the administration of justice will not be affected whilst this matter is being resolved through the parliamentary process,” said Williams. -