Government says while it respects the principle of collecting bargaining and the right to strike action, the principle of “no work, no pay” must be strictly applied by departments during the planned public sector industrial action on Thursday.
In a circular issued by the Department of Public Service and Administration on Tuesday, Director-General, Ms Yoliswa Makhasi, said the department received a notice to strike from the Public Servants Association (PSA) dated October 24, 2022.
The PSA declared a dispute with the employer, which was conciliated on 3 August 2022. The dispute remained unresolved and a certificate to that effect was issued on 19 August 2022. The scheduled strike action will start at 00:01 on 3 November 2022 and will proceed indefinitely.
Ms Makhasi said members of the PSA have the right to strike action, to the exclusion of those members rendering an essential or a maintenance service, whose disputes may be dealt with through compulsory arbitration in terms of section 74 (2) (5) of the Act.
However, she said participation of those members rendering an essential or a maintenance service in the strike would constitute misconduct. These employees rendering essential, or maintenance services may also not participate in any picketing during working hours.
“The principle of “no work, no pay” must be strictly applied by departments. The principle should apply to the absence of a full day as well as part of a working day. The calculation rates should also be applied that pay to be deducted for hours not worked for employees paid hourly.
“Permanent employees and those paid on a 6/8 basis; daily rate: annual notch divided by 365 and rounded off to the nearest cent. Hourly rate: daily rate divided by 8 and rounded off to the nearest cent,” she said.
Ms Makhasi said that all deduction made in lieu of the strike action must be captured on PERSAL function 4.5.4 category 3 code 083 only.
“Departments that do not effect deductions will be in violation of the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act 1 of 1999 in respect of fruitless and irregular expenditure. The “no work, no pay” principle must be strictly and timeously enforced. In other words, deductions must be effected in the month of the strike action (if possible), but not later than the next month.
Regarding leave, Ms Makhasi said leave should strictly be managed during the strike action and no leave should be granted unless under extreme and compelling situations. Leave should only be granted under the leave regulations and not for taking part in strike action. It is important that information on the strike action becomes available at the earliest opportunity and a comprehensive assessment is made when information that is more accurate is available.
In this regard, she said it would be appreciated if information can be submitted to the DPSA as follows:
- A broad assessment of the number of employees on strike on daily basis, and the impact thereof on the activities of the department by 10am;
- A re-assessment of the above information by 3pm on the same day; and
- Accurate information within three days after the end of the strike.
Departments are requested to submit such information to Ms Lungile Ngqoyi-Khumalo at Lungi@dpsa.gov.za.