Finance minister Tito Mboweni’s announcement that the Treasury will not foot the bill for public-sector wage hikes for the next three years will strain labour relations between government and employees, according to the Public Servants Association (PSA). The PSA, which represents 240,000 workers in the sector, was reacting to the medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) presented by Mboweni on Wednesday. In his speech, Mboweni said that the national and provincial departments would have to “absorb these costs within their compensation baselines”. Public servants received above-inflation wage increases of 7.5% for 2018. The PSA, which declined to sign a wage agreement between unions and the government in June, said the move would have a direct impact on employment, employees and service delivery. It also accused the government of negotiating the wage settlement in bad faith, seeing as the Treasury had not budgeted for the increases. “Already over-stretched departments are now expe...

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