BL Premium reports that public sector unions are in line for another wage battle with government as they will be asking for an increase well above inflation in this year’s wage negotiations.

According to the demands that will be tabled at the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council on Monday afternoon, the unions will ask for an across the board increase of the consumer price index (CPI) plus 4%. The latest CPI data put inflation at 3.2% in January, but the Treasury is predicting it will average 3.9% in 2021. The negotiations are set to be tough as the National Treasury has pencilled in major cuts to the wage bill over the medium term, amounting to a wage freeze for the next three years. The demands indicate that labour wants the lowest salary bands to be abolished. It wants level 4 of the salary band, which provides for a higher salary than the first three levels, to be the entry level in the public service. Salary levels in the public service range from level 1, at its lowest, to level 12, at its highest. While the government has intimated that it will ask for a multiyear agreement, unions are now set to sign only a single-year agreement.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Claudi Mailovich at BusinessLive (paywall access only)