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Public sector wage facilitator, govt return to the negotiations table

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The independent facilitator appointed to break the public sector wage deadlock will meet with government representatives today, Tuesday, May 11, 2021.

General-Secretary of the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC), Frikkie De Bruin said: “a facilitator was appointed and parties convened from Sunday, May 9, 2021 in facilitation.

“As the process is extremely complex, facilitators spend excessive time with the employer to understand their challenges and to develop different scenarios to present to labour for consideration.

“The facilitators will today, 11th May 2021 finish their engagement with the employer party and Council will reconvene over the coming weekend for labour to consider proposals from the facilitators.”

He further revealed that government and public sector unions remain deadlocked last month, which led to the PSCBC to initiate another engagement between trade unions and government.

According to De Bruin, in a recent special council meeting, parties agreed to a process of facilitation to break the deadlock, where council agreed to collaborate with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Pretoria offices to assist with the appointment of an independent facilitator.

The PSCBC General-Secretary said both the South African Policing Union (SAPU) and the Public Servants Association (PSA) respectively filed for conciliation in this matter on May 7, 2021 and again on May 11, 2021.

“Council has noted their referral and will processed in accordance with the dispute resolution procedure of the Council.

“The process of dispute resolution allows for a 30-day period of conciliation in which council will continue to try and convince parties to unite as labour to find a solution.

“In the interim as the majority of parties are still engaging in the facilitation process, Council through the assistance of the ILO will continue to engage them to resolve the impasse.

“As Council, we have a full understanding of the frustrations of public servants, not having received a salary increase for the 2019/2020 FY and for parties not having concluded the review of salaries  for the 2020/2021 FY, while the cost of living has gone up with increases in the cost of basic products and services.

“We still call on all to allow the PSCBC more time to resolve the impasse and facilitate parties into finding an amicable solution.

“Be assured of our commitment to stakeholders and our utmost commitment to restore trust in the collective bargaining process,” he said.