Wage settlement 'imminent' in Sars strike as unions consider offer
A wage settlement between revenue service Sars, the Public Servants' Association of South Africa (PSA) and Nehawu is "imminent".
This is according to Sars, as the strike continued on Monday.
"Pursuant to the industrial action currently under way, the parties continued the engagements from Friday evening, March 29, as well as from the afternoon of Sunday March 31 into the late evening," said Sars spokesperson Sandile Memela in a statement on Monday.
"The parties have made substantial progress in narrowing their areas of dispute and there is a possibility of reaching an agreement and settling the dispute. In this regard, organised labour will take the proposals to their members on Monday morning and will revert to the employer by 9am on Monday April 1."
PSA general manager Ivan Fredericks confirmed on Monday that there was a draft wage settlement agreement on the table.
"Members should also note that the current strike action is suspended until the mandate process on the revised offer from the employer has been considered and concluded. Should members vote to reject the revised offer from the employer, this will lead to further strike action until the employer revises the offer or parties agree to a settlement agreement," said Fredericks.
The draft wage agreement includes:
- an 8% salary increase from Monday;
- a projected CPI plus 2% salary increase on April 1 2020 and 2021 respectively;
- eight days of prenatal and vaccination leave; and
- five days of family responsibility leave every two years.
Nehawu said it would give feedback to its members on Monday.
Nehawu and the PSA represent about 10,000 Sars employees.
The strike coincides with Sars releasing the preliminary results of its tax collection for 2018/19. The strike has affected the tax agency's contact centres and walk-in branches, and to some extent ports of entry into SA.
Newly appointed Sars commissioner Edward Kieswetter, who starts work on May 1, said in an interview with the SABC on Monday that he was in touch with acting commissioner Mark Kingon about the strike.
"No one wins under a strike. Neither the organisation nor the staff wins under the strike. But when the staff eventually reach the point where they withhold their labour, it is endemic of a culture that needs to be addressed," said Kieswetter.