August 29, 2010
Government peddles lies on wage offer, Sizwe Pamla, NEHAWU Spokesperson, 24 August 2010
NEHAWU is deeply disturbed by the outright lies that government has told the people of South Africa that there is an 8.5% wage increase offer that has been presented to the unions.
There is no offer that was tabled at the PSCBC, a democratic institution set up for negotiations. Government has now decided to negotiate with the media instead of trade unions admitted to the council. As Nehawu we want to make it clear that there is no offer that was tabled at the PSCBC.
Government calculates pay progression as a wage increase knowing fully well that not everyone qualifies and benefits from it and it is a flawed system that is open to abuse by the supervisors.
This system is a performance based system which was first unilaterally implemented during the 2001/2002 financial year by the government as employer. This performance based system is part of the existing conditions of service, which was not part of the 2010 negotiations and had never been part of any negotiation recently.
The system gives rise to extreme unhappiness amongst public service workers and annually when evaluations are completed government is flooded with grievances by disgruntled public service workers. This unilateral system is not an objective tool and bonuses are allocated on favouritism, nepotism and blatant unfairness. Further, it is not possible for everyone to qualify as a limited budget is made available and the DPSA policy also limits the different categories of bonus allocations.
Government’s unashamed lies show the contempt which this government has for the citizens of this country and the crisis of leadership we have as a country if our own government lies to the public without a sense of shame. We have noticed that despite government pleading poverty it has enough money to buy full page adverts to peddle its lies and also has money to transfer patience to the private hospitals. With the private health receiving 2/3 of all money spent on health to provide services to 15% of the population, private hospitals are helping government to derive big profits. Special courts were set up for the World Cup but now they are being used to punish striking workers when they should be established permanently to fight crime that is affecting everyone.
There are workers who are employed to serve the public and they are ready and willing to perform their duties as long as government gives them what they deserve which is 8.6% wage increase and R1000 monthly housing allowance. A government with serious socio-economic challenges will think twice before spending millions of rands buying tickets on a month long soccer tournament and buy acres of space in the media to peddle lies and mislead the public.
The government ministers who deny workers their meager wage increase have spent millions of rands on luxury vehicles and are living caviar lifestyles at the expense of the poor majority that is dependent of government services. This is a case of the shepherd feeding himself forgetting about the lambs.
Nehawu pickets have been peaceful, but striking workers exercising their legal rights have come under attack from the police with intimidation, rubber bullets and arrests. We submitted a letter to the Minister of the DPSA on 12 August in line with the LRA authorising legal pickets by members and supporters. We are entitled to establish the legal pickets in public places outside workplaces. The police have no right to disperse pickets outside workplaces.
We call on government to respect the democratic institutions and present a new offer if there is one at the PSCBC not tell lies in the media. The ministers are wasting time playing games because they are not suffering and their children are not forced to use public hospitals and schools. The entire government continues to fail the poor South Africans by failing to provide the necessary leadership to resolve the impasse.
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