South African govt, unions agree 7.5% wage rise
After five months of protest action, the bulk of South Africa’s public sector unions consented to a 7.5% pay raise on Friday, according to a government statement.
Experts have previously cautioned that the two-year, multi-term agreement is considerably higher than what the government had incorporated into its 2023 budget and will jeopardise attempts to control excessive public expenditure.
Unions in the public sector comprise roughly 1.3 million employees and have been demonstrating in different degrees since November 2022.
Salary talks started in May, with unions originally requesting a 10% raise, which the government denied.
In later rounds of bargaining, the labour lowered their requests to an 8% raise and the retention of a monthly cash payout of 1,000 rands ($54.71).
According to the final agreement, the monetary bonus will be extended for one year.
The salary tab in the public sector accounts for roughly one-third of overall government spending. The Treasury had projected a 3.3% yearly rise through 2025/26.