R280bn needed to meet wage demands – Vukela

CAPE TOWN – The acting director-general of the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) Willie Vukela says the government needs R282 billion to meet this year’s wage demands of the public sector unions.

Vukela revealed the figure whilst speaking to delegates and government officials in Parliament on Wednesday.

This figure comes after public sector unions around the country asked for a double-digit increase of between 10 and 12% for employees on levels 4 to 12 in a single-year agreement.

“If, hypothetically, tomorrow, the team under Mr Phophi the chief negotiator says to government – adopt, agree with everything here – we need R282 billion the following week,” he said.

Accompanied by the government’s chief negotiator in the wage talks, Mpfariseni Phophi, Vukela told the parliament that the R282 billion figure was arrived at by officials from the department and National Treasury.

According to Vukela, wage negotiations between the government and the public sector unions take place against a backdrop of low economic growth and strained public finances.

Adding that workers in the public sector are contending with the higher cost of living and also want housing allowances increased from R1,200 to R2,500.

He also made it clear that the figure is based on the demands of the public sector unions.

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