Nxesi sets record straight on wage offer

Monday, November 21, 2022

Acting Public Service and Administration Minister, Thulas Nxesi, has set the record straight on government’s wage offer to public servants.

“Contrary to the propagated untruth that government is only offering [a] 3% [increase], the fact is, government is offering a sum total of 7.5% composed of the following: non-pensionable cash allowance of R1 000.00 after tax, which amounts to 4.5%, and a 3% pensionable increase across the board.

“Some in the media fraternity have ignored this fact of a 7.5% government offer, and have chosen to continue with the misinformation of only 3%, as propagated by some in organised labour.

“The result is a grand scale of misleading public service employees, and the public at large,” the Minister said in a statement.

The Department of Public Service and Administration went further to explain that the R1 000.00 monthly non-pensionable allowance, currently paid to public servants, was actually an increase and not “an allowance”, as it was said by some leaders in organised labour.

“The non-pensionable cash allowance of R1 000.00 is actually an outcome of the wage negotiations in the year 2021/22.

“Contrary to the assertion that there was no non-pensionable salary adjustment in the 2021/22 financial year, government was able to put an estimated package of 6% [increase] in the pockets of employees through the payment of the R1 000 (4.5%) non-pensionable cash allowance and the 1.5% pay progression to public servants.

“The pay progression was in line with the agreement to use the budget of R8 billion that was budgeted for pay progression, and this was paid to all employees on levels 1 - 12. Resolution 1 of 2021, clause 4.1 states: ‘The employer will pay a once-off pensionable salary adjustment of at least 1.5% to all employees employed in the public service on 1 April 2021’.

“Our colleagues in organised labour, including the leadership, are aware of these facts and the misinformation and misrepresentation is rather mischievous, and is condemned.

“Clause 4.3 of the same resolution reads as follows: ‘This 1.5% once-off adjustment, payable in terms of clause 4.1, will be implemented with effect from 1 July 2021’.

“Some members of organised labour are peddling further untruths with reference to the decision of the Constitutional Court regarding the implementation of the last leg of Resolution 1 of 2018. These members of organised labour have misrepresented facts by stating that the employer took the unions to the courts,” the department said.

The department reiterated that government has not abandoned wage negotiations. However, it had to ensure that “salary adjustments for public servants were included in budget adjustments made by National Treasury, led by Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana”.

“Minister Nxesi calls on the PSCBC [Public Service Co-Ordinating Bargaining Council] to continue its facilitation role for government and organised labour to find each other.

“As government, we remain committed to respecting organised labour, safeguarding the collective bargaining processes and promoting labour peace. Government will… ensure that the bargaining process is protected.

“The Minister appeals to the media to test the claims and allegations that are made by organised labour as it embarks on industrial action. Some media institutions and journalists present the claims made by some labour leaders as factual without testing them. It is important that reporting is accurate to avoid misinformation and propaganda,” the department said. – SAnews.gov.za