NEHAWU Statement On The Upcoming Budget Speech - Implementation Of The Last Leg of Resolution 1 of 2018
Friday February 18, 2022
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] is disgusted and highly disappointed by the deliberate delay by Constitutional Court in releasing judgement on the case filed by Public Sector unions against the reneging of Resolution 1 of 2018, clause 3.3 in particular which was the last leg of this resolution by the South African government since the matter was heard on the 20th August 2021. Indeed, the union deems this period as excessive as it is now in excess of five (5) months to date.
It is at this point that we call on the Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana to include the money to pay public service workers who are owed by the state as a result of refusing to implement the collective bargaining resolution – Resolution 1 of 2018, in his tabling of 2022 National Budget Speech on the 23rd February 2022, as part of preparing for any eventuality by the court judgement particularly as we still hope that the case will be ruled in favour of workers as their socio-economic right. Truth to be told, public servants can no longer wait anymore given the cost of living which is too high.
The national union has written two days ago (Wednesday, 17th February 2022) a letter to the Acting Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court to immediately release the judgment on the case within fourteen (14) days as an ultimatum, failing which the union together with its members will come fetch the ruling physically through demonstrations outside the Constitutional Court immediately after the set period as mentioned here. Already the union is working with its provincial office in Gauteng preparing for these demonstrations as part of exerting pressure to the Constitutional Court to release its judgment on the matter as its significance and adverse to collective bargaining in this country.
We further expect Minister Godongwana to provide a clear indication that government has also budgeted for the next round of the negotiations (2022/2023) based on the baseline budget not on cash allowance (tip) and will not take away what is already ours as workers - pay progression.
Once again, we are making this clarion call to the Minister not to take workers for granted as their patience is running-out as they are no longer prepared to accept any excuse that might be brought to their attention. Indeed, excuses about economy do not only affect government but also affect its employees too, as prices of food, petrol, and electricity are escalating.
Workers refuse to tolerate this onslaught directed at them by government driven by national treasury through austerity measures which include amongst others the reduction of the public service wage bill as a narrow way of addressing economic challenges while people in senior positions of government are busy looting with completely no consequences by the state.
Having noted these vicious attacks led by the democratic government, we wish to warn our government that the continuation with these attacks will be at your peril as workers will opt for other options available at their disposal as these have resulted to them experiencing financial hardships amidst the escalating cost of living.
Equally, we find it totally unacceptable the delay by the Constitutional Court to hand-down judgement on the matter of Resolution 1 of 2018, which has a bearing on the livelihood of our members and workers but most importantly the defence of collective bargaining and rights of workers. This delay is unjustifiable and acceptable because is tantamount to justice delayed is justice denied.
Lastly, we reiterate our call to Minister Godongwana that set-aside a budget for the implementation of the last leg of Resolution 1 of 2018 in the National Budget of 2022.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968;
December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969;
Lwazi Nkolonzi (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 081 558 2335 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org