22 May 2022- The leadership of South African Revenue Service (SARS) met with the Organised Labour represented by the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) and Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA) to find resolution to the matters on which the unions declared a dispute.
We had shared the leadership of the two trade unions that their current demands for a CPI + 7% is simply not affordable.
Like all Government institutions, SARS is affected by the financial challenges facing the country, and as a result, in SARS’ funding allocation from National Treasury, no provision was made for salary increases. Through its own diligence in managing costs, and other initiatives, SARS is therefore able to make some funds available towards Bargaining Unit employees.
These funds are from some savings from last year (2021/22) as well as projected savings from this current year (2022/23) which has been approved towards people costs. Commissioner Kieswetter said: “I am pleased that under difficult conditions we are able to provide some financial relief to our employees. I also remind our employees that we are inordinately privileged to have employment security at a time when so many are unemployed and financially destitute.”
Following a special National Bargaining Forum convened on Saturday, 21 May 2022, the unions where informed of the Employer’s proposal and subsequently started engaging SARS on various options to allocate the available funding towards financial relief for employees, and in an attempt to resolve the dispute.
SARS has formally extended this offer to Organised Labour on Sunday, 22 May 2022, in full and final settlement of the dispute relating to the salary increase demand of the 2022/23 Substantive Wage Negotiations, on a without prejudice basis. The unions will engage their members to obtain a mandate, after which the parties will meet again to continue engagements.
SARS has further committed to continue discussions on a number of non-monetary items shared between the parties, to review and improve the overall employee value proposition. This process already commenced around the middle of last year.
SARS leadership is pleased that engagement between the parties on the wage dispute has been revived, and remains constructive and positive. We remain confident that with this offer, we can resolve the current dispute and move forward to focus on serving taxpayers and executing the important mandate we serve.