Unions mull new wage offer

Public service unions were expected to announce on Monday if a new wage offer had been accepted which would end a national strike that started 20 days ago.

“The provisional planning is that the announcement will take place at 4pm,” said Independent Labour Caucus (ILC) chairperson Chris Klopper.

Asked if it would be good news, he replied: “It would be news”, but when pressed further, Klopper said: “Yes, I think it is [good news].”

Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) spokesperson Patrick Craven said most of the public service trade unions had completed the balloting process, except for the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu).

Craven would not be drawn into commenting on the decision by the other unions.

He said Cosatu would confirm during the course of the morning whether it would be ready to make an announcement at 4pm.

The government last week revised its offer to a 7,5% salary increase and R800 housing allowances, while public servants embarked on strike action to demand 8,6% and a R1 000 housing allowance.

During the past 20 days, since the strike started on August 18, several protesters were arrested for public violence.

Two non-striking nurses were attacked and seriously injured in the past week by their striking colleagues.

State hospitals were crippled with several news reports claiming patients had died as a direct result of the strike

Schools were also affected and several provinces postponed preliminary matric exams as many non-striking teachers were intimidated into staying at home. - Sapa

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