Public-sector unions have delayed the conclusion of wage negotiations with the government.
This is after the Public Servants Association (PSA) refused to sign the finalised wage agreement.
The Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council is reported to have concluded the wage negotiations last Friday, and on Monday morning presented the agreement to trade unions and government to be signed.
The proposed deal would see a range of between 6% to just over 7% increases for employees for 2018/2019, backdated to 1 April when the previous agreement lapsed.
Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA) deputy general secretary Tahir Maepa says he is not sure what is the delay on Cosatu's side, as the union indicated on Friday that they were ready to sign.
So by Friday last week, they were ready to sign, however, the PSA has consistently rejected this offer from 26 January, and on Friday we also indicated that we are not going to accept this offer. There was nothing new that the employer was offering from the time we started until now.— Tahir Maepa, PSA deputy general secretary
It was just a waste of nine months of our efforts and what we also cannot understand is why is Cosatu so eager to sign an agreement that is worse than when we started.— Tahir Maepa, PSA deputy general secretary
He added that there was an agreement in principle with Cosatu unions on Friday, and they (Cosatu) 'went on a bilateral' with the employer when the PSA objected to the manner in which the negotiations were going.
Following those bilaterals, they came back with a draft agreement which then said they were ready to sign on Monday.— Tahir Maepa, PSA deputy general secretary
That is why the minister yesterday called a press conference, as she was anticipating that these unions were going to sign.— Tahir Maepa, PSA deputy general secretary
But over the weekend, obviously the PSA went out and spoke to the public servants and alerted what was happening and there was so much pressure on some of these unions as far as this particular agreement. Because it was not consulted with anybody, it was done in a rush fashion between the state and Cosatu unions and it didnt fulfill the desired results.— Tahir Maepa, PSA deputy general secretary
Maepa concluded by saying that if all Cosatu unions sign this agreement, it will mean that the PSA would have been defeated.
Listen below to the full interview: