Trade unions to approach Constitutional Court over pay increases

Trade unions will head to the Constitutional Court to appeal salary increases.

Trade unions representing public servants, Public Servants Association (PSA), alongside Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa), are heading to the Constitutional Court to appeal a Labour Court ruling allowing government not to pay salary increases. Unions have until the end of January 2021 to file their papers with the court.

In December 2020, the labour court ruled in favour of government to allow it to not increase salaries for the millions of public servants.

As part of the 2018 three-year salary agreement, public sector workers would have received a CPI+1 percent salary increase in 2020.

However, due to the country’s poor financial state  and challenges brought about by Covid-19, the government said it was forced to renege on the agreement, rolling out a wage freeze instead.

PSA general manager Reuben Maleka believes the ruling creates some ambiguity in relation to the workers' rights and it is better for the Constitutional Court to pronounce and give them the directive in terms of the future of collective bargaining.

Reuben says the PSA plans to file papers at the Constitutional Court on 29 January 2021.