/ 12 October 2010

Hospersa rejects govt wage offer

The Health And Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) will not be signing the government’s wage offer, the union said on Tuesday.

“Our members made sacrifices to go on strike and to fight for the right to a decent living, and this is the mandate they have given us,” Hospersa general secretary Noel Desfontaines said in a statement.

“The anger of workers has long been brewing as government continues with its talk-left, walk-right approach to economic policy, that has failed to prioritise the country’s socio-economic needs.”

The mandate for union members dealt with the issue of whether to sign the government’s wage offer, spokesperson Michelle Connolly said.

The option of further strike action may form the basis for a separate mandate, she said.

The union said it stood by its demand for an 8,6% increase and R1 000 housing allowance.

Last week, the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) also rejected government’s wage offer.

However, the union said it would not embark on industrial strike action and had formally ended the current strikes.

The state has offered a 7,5% wage increase and R800 housing allowance.

Critical to manage future negotiation
Meanwhile, Public Service Minister Richard Baloyi said on Tuesday he hoped to never see a repeat of this year’s public-service strike and that unions would sign an end to the strike.

“We are hopeful that the majority, if not all of the unions, will sign the offer,” Baloyi told representatives at an African Peer Review Mechanism workshop in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

“I am sure they are getting their pens ready.”

He said it was critical to manage future negotiations so that such a strike was avoided.

“It affects all of us.” — Sapa