Two days before finance minister Tito Mboweni tables his special adjustments budget on June 24 — where he must outline how the government is going to overhaul its finances to cope with the Covid-19 crisis — the ground work for another battle will be laid.

The state begins pre-arbitration hearings with Cosatu-affiliated unions at the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC). This sets out the process for the arbitration of the dispute over the government’s failure to pay the last leg of wage increases agreed to in the 2018 multiyear wage agreement.

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