Public service negotiations on salary and other conditions of service for the year 2015/16 were completed on Thursday with both government and trade unions agreeing to a salary increase of six percent.
Initially trade unions proposed a 15 percent salary hike while the government offered only 4%. Trade unions submitted their proposal for negotiations on Salary and conditions of service for the year 2015/16 on 25th November 2014 while the government submitted her counter proposal on 20th January 2015.
The negotiations that resulted in six percentage increment commenced on the 25th February 2015 and were concluded on the 2nd April 2015.
The increment affects all employees on salary grades D1 and below and is effective 1st April 2015.
The Bargaining council also resolved to introduce new Housing and upkeep allowances effective 1st April 2015. The temporary Recession Relief Allowance has been phased out effective 1st April 2015 and replaced by a Housing and Upkeep allowances.
Employees on Salary Grades D1 and below will be entitled to full pay on Study leave for the duration of their studies effective 1st April 2015. Previously employees were only entitled to full pay on study leave for only one year, for the rest of the study period they were paid half of their salaries.
Remote Areas Service Allowance (RASA) will not be reviewed during the current financial year 2015/2016. However it was agreed that the government should engage the Trade Unions in dealing with the implementation challenges of RASA.
On issues of overtime, the bargaining council noted that the Trade Union’s demand was in line with existing policy as stipulated in section 12(1)-(6) of the public Service Regulations of 2010. Therefore; Management should ensure that overtime is effectively managed and payment therefore is in compliance with the law that regulates overtime.
Government and the trade unions also agreed to defer the introduction of paternity leave; payment of membership fees for professional bodies by the employer; and payment of 13thcheque during the years without Public Service Salary adjustment.
The two parties also agreed that payment of entertainment allowances to all officers on Salary Grade 1; enhancement of Subsistence Allowance; pension contribution for employees on Salary Grades A1 to A3; and Medical Aid contributions for employees on Salary Grades B1and below should be stayed pending further research/investigation by both government and the trade unions. It was agreed that the issues┬á may be brought back to council at a time or date to be determined by both parties. These are:
For future negotiations on salary adjustment, government and trade unions agreed that negotiations on the proposed salary adjustment for all public service employees for the subsequent years should be undertaken between the months of September and October each year in order to align the public service negotiations with the government budgeting process.