SARS operations unaffected by wage negotiation strike

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

The first day of the wage strike by South African Revenue Service (SARS) workers had seen minimal disruption to its services, says the revenue collectors.

In a statement, the revenue collector said 18 of its branches had to close down due to absence of workers.

It said: “Overall taxpayers have continued to interact with the organization through the wide range of on-line services. SARS has rescheduled most of the appointments that were made before the industrial action started”.

SARS said it has furthermore put business continuity plans and other contingencies in order to continue to deliver essential service to taxpayers.

“We urge the public to utilize our website for further updates on how to engage with SARS to fulfil their required obligations. Taxpayers are encouraged to avoid coming to a SARS office,” SARS said.

SARS appealed to staff to remain peaceful in their protest and to respect picketing rules as specified in the CCMA Picketing Rules issued.

It said it remained empathetic to financial challenges faced by its staff as a result of increasing food and fuel prices as well as other essential services.

The resumption of strike follows its temporary suspension by the PSA in May, and union leadership has indicated that they intend to remain on strike until SARS improves its wage offer.

“The dispute arose because of trade unions’ rejection of the available R70 million for baseline increases for bargaining unit employees.

“SARS has communicated that it does not decide on its own funding, but is dependent on an annual allocation made through a process managed by National Treasury. The demand of labour of CPI plus 7% is simply unaffordable until the SARS receives further funding,” reads the statement.

“SARS will always respect the constitutionally protected right of workers to strike within the strict provisions of the law, whilst at the same time take the necessary steps to fulfil its legal mandate and serve taxpayers and traders. The “no work, no pay” will apply for those employees that are participating in the industrial action.”

The revenue collector said it had demonstrated transparency in its financial position and willingness to engage the union leadership on ending the impasse.

“SARS has done everything in its power and within the available funding to extend the offer to trade unions, which remains available. SARS remains willing to continue engagements with the trade unions on the offer as well as the boarder Employee Value Proposition,” it said. –

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