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The government has rejected nearly all of the public sector unions’ double-digit pay hike demands, demonstrating its commitment to keep its ballooning wage bill in check and setting it on a collision course with the more than 1.3-million strong workforce.

In a document, which Business Day has seen, the state is proposing the extension of the R1,000 after-tax cash gratuity to employees and a 1.5% pay progression hike, which is linked to years of service and is always pencilled into the budget...

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