Government condemns PSA unilateral decision to strike

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ayanda Dlodlo -- on behalf of government and the Committee of Ministers -- has condemned the unilateral decision of the Public Servants Association (PSA) to embark on strike action, in violation of bargaining rules and processes. 

The PSA on Monday served the DPSA with a seven-day notice to strike, disregarding standing protocol and procedure for a 21-day window to allow all public sector unions at the PSCBC to either accept or reject the offer. 

According to public service bargaining protocols, this timeframe has not lapsed and therefore the PSA has no legal standing to embark on an industrial action, which is in violation of the PSCBC rules and procedure. 

“We are concerned that the planned strike action is unprocedural, as it is in complete violation of prescribed processes. The in principle agreement, according to the regulations of the PSCBC, will be on the table for a period of 21 days, in which time labour unions can make final consultation for a mandate to sign.

“This period of consultation is still unfolding and as such, we are in a protected phase until the 19th of June 2018,” Dlodlo said. 

Minister Dlodlo said the unilateral decision by the PSA to operate outside the proper bargaining channels has left government no choice but to explore all available processes permissible in legislation to protect public services from being disrupted and to compel the PSA to adhere to the rules to ensure that government services, especially frontline services focusing on the poor and vulnerable, are not disrupted.  

The DPSA is currently studying the implications of the PSA notice to establish possible impact on service delivery. 

“We have noted that of the 230 000 members of the PSA, over 100 000 are in essential service and are legally precluded from going on strike.  We are therefore confident that the provision of essential services such as healthcare, policing and other uniformed services will not be disrupted.

“Furthermore, the department cautions employees that the PSA intended strike is not in line with the rules and that the principle of ‘No Work, No Pay’ will strictly be applied to employees who will partake in the strike. This includes government making zero contributions towards housing, medical aid, pension fund and all other allowances, for any employee not at work. 

“The principle will apply for absence of a full day as well as part of a working day. In addition, leave will be strictly managed and no leave will be granted unless under extreme and compelling situations,” Dlodlo said. 

The Minister assured the public that there is no need to be anxious, as all other public sector unions are still considering the government offer in line with PSCBC rules and more are signing daily. 

“The Minister further assures the public that public servants, as they execute their mandate, should at all times be guided by the Batho Pele Value Statement – We Belong, We Care, We Serve,” the DPSA said. –