Govt urges unions not to use 2010 as leverage

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Durban - The South African government has appealed to trade unions not to use the 2010 FIFA World Cup as leverage should a strike within the health sector prevail as recent media reports suggest.

Randall Howard, special advisor to the Minister of Public Service and Administration, Richard Baloyi, made this appeal at a recent Public Service Summit in Durban.

Howard drew the attention of the 400-member delegation to 2007, in which the country experienced its longest public service strike.

Trade unions, government as the employer and the Public Sector Bargaining Council will sit down to deliberate on how to improve service delivery in South Africa, he said.

Top government officials, including the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Zweli Mkhize, stressed the importance of efficient and effective performances by public servants.

He said the people of South Africa deserved improvement in their lives after choosing to fight against the apartheid system, adding that a few public servants should not taint the overall image of government.

The Premier also wanted an end to public dissatisfaction that emanates from issues between public servants and their employer.

The summit focused on the resourcing of the public service and outsourcing and agentisation, especially in the area of health, education and the criminal justice system.

The parties also examined the work environment and reviewed government's remuneration policy and the strengthening of collective bargaining.

Randall stressed the importance of unions and government working together so that the concerns above could be resolved once and for all.