Cape Town – The South African Revenue Service (Sars) is embroiled in a salary dispute with its employees after the taxman informed them that it would not increase their salaries due to Covid-19.
The matter will come before the CCMA (Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration) next month, according to the Public Servants Association (PSA), which represents more than 5 300 of Sars’ 12 500 employees.
The union stated that Sars indicated to it that owing to the current economic and financial conditions it is not able to provide employees in grade seven with a salary increase for this financial year.
Affected Sars employees were advised to undertake internal grievances after the PSA obtained a legal opinion while unions representing staff at the taxman declared a joint dispute at the CCMA.
According to the PSA, the CCMA informed parties that the conciliation hearing is set down for October 5 and the affected Sars employees are expecting to start picketing should the commission issue a certificate of the outcome if parties do not reach an agreement during conciliation.
The PSA’s battles follow Sars’ decision to increase salaries of employees between grades one to six effective from 1 April 2020 by 6.4% based on the 4.4% projected inflation rate plus 2% as per the wage agreement.
Last week, Sars agreed to insource nearly 800 cleaners from the end of October.
The PSA expects that the insourcing of the 769 cleaners will be followed by further discussions to conclude in the next few months a similar outcome for security services.
The union believes that the insourcing will not result in a material increase in expenditure at Sars but will allow this group of workers to contribute to a pension fund, access medical aid and group live cover.
In terms of the agreement, the identified employees will be provided with training to be upskilled and placed in vacancies in other business divisions when they arise.