Johannesburg – The government has warned thousands of public servants on strike on Wednesday they will not be paid for joining the one-day nationwide protest action against corruption and attacks on collective bargaining.
The strike is protected but the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) has indicated the “no work, no pay” principle must be applied.
The DPSA has also warned departments that do not effect the deductions will be in violation of the Public Finance Management Act.
”The ‘no work, no pay’ (principle) must be effected in the month of the protest, if possible, but not later than the next month after the protest action,” DPSA director-general Yoliswa Makhasi said in a circular sent to all heads of departments on the eve of the strike.
Makhasi said no leave should be granted for purposes of joining the protest action and essential service workers such as doctors, nurses and police officers were not allowed to take part in the strike during working hours.
She warned essential service workers that participation would constitute an act of misconduct.
Cosatu, the Federation of Unions of SA and the National Council of Trade Unions were given the green light by the National Economic Development and Labour Council to defend or protect their socio-economic interests.
The three federations had been joined by the SA Federation of Trade Unions in protesting against high levels of corruption, retrenchments, gender-based violence and what they referred to as attacks on the collective bargaining process.
Workers are also demanding that unemployment be urgently tackled, they be protected from Covid-19 through provision of proper personal protective equipment and decent public transport.
Public servants are also unhappy with the government’s decision not to increase their salaries by between 4.4% and 5.4% in April and the move not to hike their wages at least until 2024.