On Wednesday, 18 August 2010, the public sector unions will embark on an indefinite strike following the rejection of the wage offer made by government. One week ago trade unions in every province marched to raise awareness around their demands and thousands came in support. At the time they were optimistic about negotiations and reaching a compromise with government.
Currently, reports state that the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) and the National Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) have rejected government’s wage offer. Business Report states that these two unions represent 500 000 workers and that the 19 public sector unions represent 1.3 million workers.
The two main demands that workers have asked for is a wage increase of 8.6% and a housing allowance of R1000 backdated to the 1 April. The government has offered a 7% increase and a housing allowance of R700 backdated to the 1st July.
Marches across the country are being planned for the 26 August while workers will start picketing in the interim outside their places of work.