Workers in government sectors, like nurses, police and teachers, have been threatening to strike for some time over wage freezes. The government previously signed a three-year wage increase deal with the public sector unions, but then said it cannot be implemented because the government is broke. Public sector wages are the biggest item in the national budget, and that’s one of the reasons the ratings agencies have downgraded SA. But the unions this week took the government to court, arguing that the government was obliged to honour its commitment. At the last minute, the government reportedly opted to settle. According to Business Day, the mooted agreement entails a once-off bonus and a year’s pension holiday, but the finer details of the offer are still being ironed out. Let’s hope this is resolved to spare the country a protracted strike – and court battle – which would badly affect government’s work and those reliant on its services.
This brief was originally published in The Wrap here.