The South African Revenue Service (SARS) says they are committed to resolving the ongoing industrial action by its workers. SARS workers around the country have been on an indefinite strike since April as wage negotiations remain ongoing.
Claude Naicker from the Public Servants Association (PSA) says SARS has revised their offer which will see the union’s workers return to work and the wage strike halted.
The suspension of the strike will allow the union to listen to the revised offer on the table from the revenue service. By workers going back to the office, they will be able to determine if the offer is suitable and communicate this with the PSA.
SARS have offered an across-the-board increase of 1.5% for permanent employees in the bargaining unit. This increase will also be backdated to 1 April 2022.
They added that this offer on the table is on condition that the broader public sector negotiations are resolved at an increase of higher than the 1.5%, National Treasury will accordingly make additional funding available towards the settlement agreement. SARS will be guided by this and adjust its offer to its employees to be on equal terms.
Naicker adds that the broader public sector is being offered an increase of 2% across the board. He says this is not looking good and can see striking SARS workers return to the streets next week.
He explained that the employer, in this case the government, failed to honour a multiyear wage increase agreement which left workers without salary increases since the 2020-2021 financial year began.
Naicker says that if SARS offer moves above 3% unions may consider it, but at 1.5% it is likely that strikes will continue.
SARS has put contingency measures in place to lessen the impact of their operations. They have requested taxpayers and traders to avoid visiting SARS branches and instead continue to interact with SARS through our self-help digital channels.