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  • on 30.08.2010
  • at 06:30 PM
  • by Staff

Zuma orders ministers to return to the negotiating table 0

Cosatu welcome President Jacob Zuma’s instruction that ministers involved in public sector wage talks return to the negotiating table.

President Jacob Zuma has instructed all the ministers in the public service sector to return to the negotiating table in an attempt to end a 13-day national strike, his spokesman said on Monday.

“The president gave a mandate to the ministers to immediately go back to the negotiating table,” said Zizi Kodwa.

“This follows a meeting the president held with ministers over the weekend, which assessed the strike by public servants and its impact to the country as a whole.”

Zuma had been “worried” about the long-term impacts of the strike, said Kodwa.

He was concerned about schooling grinding to a halt and state hospital services being severely disrupted.

“It is ordinary, poor people who are suffering. We can’t allow the strike to go on unabated,” he said.

Zuma was upset about several provinces having to postpone preliminary matric exams because of the strike.

The government set itself goals to increase the pass rate of matriculants… the strike is obviously going to have a big knock in terms of that.

“In the interest of the country, the strike must be resolved.”

Zuma urged all parties involved to “put the interests of the country first” and to be willing to negotiate a solution.

Kodwa said unions had already been informed of the president’s instruction.

Cosatu welcomed President Jacob Zuma’s instruction that ministers involved in public sector wage talks return to the negotiating table.

“The federation hopes that an improved offer will now be tabled and that the strike can be settled as quickly as possible, through an agreement that is acceptable to the workers,” said Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) spokesman Patrick Craven.

The strike — public servants are demanding a salary increase of 8,6% and a housing allowance of R1000 a month — is costing the country billions each day. The government has said it can only afford a 7% increase and a R700 housing allowance.

Source: BusinessDay


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