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Strike postponed

Public sector unions have suspended strike action called for Monday and Tuesday while they consider a redrafted pay increase agreement negotiated at a meeting called by the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council.

"The strike action has been suspended until unions leaders consult with their members until Tuesday on whether to accept the new proposal," said Patrick Craven, a spokesperson for the Congress of South African Trade Unions. The bargaining council, which met on Friday, is a forum for negotiations between government and its employees.

Last week several thousand South African public sector workers stayed away from work in the largest strike action witnessed in the last decade. The workers, including teachers, nurses and policemen from eight public sector unions, had rejected a six-percent wage increase offer by the government, demanding a seven-percent rise, a universal medical aid and housing allowance, and a review of a pay progression system that links salaries to inflation for the next two years.

The new proposal put together on Friday provides for a 6.2 percent rise in salaries this year, as well as an inflation-linked increase and a 0.4 percent hike for the following two years, Thulas Nxesi, general secretary of the South African Democratic Teachers' Union told IRIN.

He said the unions were to report back to the council on Wednesday on their decision.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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