28 March 2019
The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) remains fully supportive of the strike notice that has been served on the South African Revenue Services (SARS) by the Public Servants Association (PSA), the Federation’s largest affiliate in the public service, after marathon efforts to resolve a dispute of salary increases and improvements in other conditions of work ended in a deadlock. The notice will see 50% of the total SARS employees nationwide, aligned to the PSA, downing tools from today.
Rising food and transport inflation, imminent increases in the price of erratic and unreliable electricity over the next three years are just some of the economic hardships that public servants and workers in general face on a daily basis, and it is unfortunate that SARS fails to accept this reality and offer better wages and improve their conditions of service. Government’s failure to fill vacant posts means that the workloads of PSA members at SARS and throughout the public service, remains severely constrained, yet salaries remain stagnant. These stark realities face ordinary public servants, amidst the fact that high ranking government officials have been enriching themselves through looting state coffers and corrupt practices, that erodes and bankrupts the disposable income of public servants and South African citizens alike. FEDUSA therefore challenges newly appointed SARS Commissioner, Edward Kieswetter, to bring about concrete actions and restore the credibility of SARS through investments in competent public servants to increase efficient tax collections that will equally restore confidence in the economy.
Key among SARS’s final position is a 7% across-the-board increase for Bargaining Unit employees, concession on the prenatal leave demand and the introducing a two-year cycle for family responsibility leave to be dealt with in a task team.
“The employer reverted to the position as per above after it attempted a multi-term wage offer over three years involving an 8% across-the-board increase to be implemented on 1 April 2019 and CPI plus 1% in the second and third years of the multi-term. This offer entails that the employer attempted to buy a multi-term deal with an additional 1% increase for this year,” said FEDUSA Vice President, Ivan Fredericks.
“Labour rejected this proposal in the light that its aware of the clear directive and mandate from its collective memberships that any wage offer involving CPI plus 1% is to be rejected and as such, in essence, would be non-negotiable”.
It is absolutely evident that the employer is not serious about resolving the current wage deadlock to avert the looming strike. It is therefore imminent and unavoidable that the strike, commencing today, will continue, unless Commissioner Kieswetter can live up to his reputation as the credible authority to restore the confidence in the entity.
For interviews please contact:
FEDUSA Vice President : Public Sector
082 880 8983
FEDUSA Acting General Secretary
079 696 2626
Masale Godfrey Selematsela
065 652 2832/083 653 3021
FEDUSA Media and Research Officer
072 637 8096