South African Trade Unions signs the wage deal while others stall

Posted Oct 14, 2010 by Abram Mahlaba
The South African civil servants who were responsible for the three-week long strike that saw hospitals and schools crippled, did not sign the government’s final wage offer by the deadline on Tuesday.
The unions suspended the three-week long strike to ‘consider’ the 7 ,5 percent salary increase and a housing allowance of R800.00($117.65) tabled by the government who refused to budge to the union’s 8 ,6 salary increase and R1000.00(about $148.00) housing allowance.
The unions claimed that there was no mandate from its affiliates to sign the government’s final offer and promised to go back to their affiliates for a new mandate yesterday afternoon. reports: But the Independent Labour Caucus (ILC) representing 11 unions, has asked for more time to consult, despite the 21-day deadline expiring on Tuesday.
ILC chairperson, Chris Klopper reportedly said many of the unions sat back and thought other unions would sign.
“But it doesn’t help for someone else to bail us out.”
The implementation of the government’s wage offer requires 50 percent plus one majority of the unions to sign for it to be effective, but by late yesterday only the Cosatu affiliated unions with the exception of the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union had signed the deal.
But the Public Service and Administration Minister, Richard Baloyi said the government remained hopeful that the required majority would be secured so the wage offer could be implemented.
And if the caucus’ unions failed to come on board next Tuesday, Baloyi would unilaterally implement the offer.
The 37 percent Cosatu affiliated union members that accepted the deal yesterday alleviated the fears of a further strike that would have more crippling effects on public service, because any union that would want to strike would have to do so independently.