South Africa’s public servants to strike next week over wages

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CAPE TOWN, June 4 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Public Servants
Association (PSA) on Monday filed a notice to strike from June
11 after failing to reach a wage deal with government, extending
a dispute that could significantly impact national finances.

Treasury has flagged the public service wage bill as a
“imminent risk” to government spending, urging against salary
increases exceeding inflation without staff reductions.

An in principle three-year wage deal between government and
public servants was agreed to last month, but has not yet come
into force after some unions pulled out.

“Please take note that a 7 day notice is hereby served…
for the PSA to commence with strike action,” the PSA’s manager
Ivan Fredericks said in a letter to the department of public
service and administration.

“The PSA, however, remains prepared to resolve the dispute
through negotiations to avert the strike action.”

Under the May deal, public sector workers would have
received a maximum seven percent wage hike in the first year and
projected inflation plus one percent in the following two years.

The PSA, which has more than 227,000 members, including
teachers, police, and nurses, rejected the deal even though some
unions in the larger government-aligned Cosatu trade federation
wanted to sign.

A government spokesman was not immediately available to
commment. Cosatu could not be contacted.