By Staff Reporter
South Africa’s public service workers have refused to sign a new salary agreement with the government because it is discriminatory and takes away workers’ housing allowance.
National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (NUPSAW) general secretary Success Mataitsane, stated in a press release on Tuesday that the union rejects the salary agreement with the contempt it deserves.
“NUPSAW will not sign the Public Service salary agreement in its current form as it discriminates our level 8-12 members against the rest of the members especially in subsequent years. This position was adopted by the Independent Labour Caucus (ILC) and we believe it was the right decision,” Mataitsane said. “In the given scenarios, NUPSAW, given some serious concerns about the draft agreement as presented by the employer i.e. a missing claw-back clause for CPI change between the actual and the projected. In other words, there is no room for any compensation should the CPI during a specific financial period be higher than projected.”
He pointed out that NUPSAW would be going against its mandate if it signs an agreement which once again takes away the members’ right to housing allowance.
“It takes it (housing allowance) away in that it gives the employer the sole right to design and implement a Permission to Occupy (PTO). There is currently PTOs being issued by various entities like parents, relatives, chiefs, tribal authorities and the like,” Mataitsane said further. “What the employer wants to introduce and is being given unfettered powers to do so is to bring in clauses which will exclude a number of qualifying members. The same goes for this. Not-withstanding the fact that the agreement seeks to fool our members that the government will address issues like the same PTO, Family responsibility.”
He also said the public service workers were rejecting the review of the Comprehensive Danger Insurance.
“Our members need danger allowance as we believe that the insurance cover will invariably result in the withdrawal of danger allowance. We cannot agree to taking away of any cent from our members,” said Mataitsane. “NUPSAW rejects this agreement with the contempt it deserves.”