Wednesday, 20 May 2015 –

The head of the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) confirmed that the government sealed an agreement with unions on Tuesday to raise public sector wages by 7% this year, thereby averting a potentially crippling strike by 1.3 million workers.

Public sector unions had initially sought a 15% increase before lowering their demands to 10% during lengthy negotiations since September. Workers, including teachers, nurses and policemen, will also get better housing and medical aid allowances under a three-year deal. The talks had to be referred to independent mediators in March because there was no breakthrough. Under the deal, the government agreed to increase wages this year by projected consumer price inflation, which the Treasury forecasts at 4.8%, plus 2.2%. In 2016 and 2017, salaries will rise in line with average inflation plus 1%. “A good deal is a deal that nobody is really extremely satisfied about. There are things that could have been better but under the circumstances this is the best deal that was on the table,” said Leon Gilbert, spokesperson for the largest independent union, the Public Servants Association (PSA).

Read this report at Fin24

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