CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa’s Public Servants Association (PSA) on Monday filed a notice to strike from June 11 after failing to reach a wage deal with government, extending a dispute that could significantly impact national finances.
Treasury has flagged the public service wage bill as a “imminent risk” to government spending, urging against salary increases exceeding inflation without staff reductions.
An in principle three-year wage deal between government and public servants was agreed to last month, but has not yet come into force after some unions pulled out.
“Please take note that a 7 day notice is hereby served... for the PSA to commence with strike action,” the PSA’s manager Ivan Fredericks said in a letter to the department of public service and administration.
“The PSA, however, remains prepared to resolve the dispute through negotiations to avert the strike action.”
Under the May deal, public sector workers would have received a maximum seven percent wage hike in the first year and projected inflation plus one percent in the following two years.
The PSA, which has more than 227,000 members, including teachers, police, and nurses, rejected the deal even though some unions in the larger government-aligned Cosatu trade federation wanted to sign.
A government spokesman was not immediately available to comment. Cosatu could not be contacted.
Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by Joe Brock