JOHANNESBURG – While some public sector unions are discouraging their members from taking up government’s tax exempted early retirement offers, others have warned of intimidation by managers.
The government has opened applications to state employees who wish to go on early retirement as one of the measures being carried out to curb the wage bill.
Government’s plans have not enjoyed the support of unions, with the organisations declaring a dispute at the Public Service Bargaining Council over the matter.
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has complained of managers in government who have made it appear as though employees are compelled to commit to the voluntary retirement.
Meanwhile, the Public Service Association (PSA), which has over 200,000 members in the service, has cautioned members against the move, saying that the financial losses and impact on service delivery would be devastating.
The PSA’s deputy general manager Tahir Maepa has also criticised the government’s failure to engage with labour on the issue.
The government plans to cut at least 30,000 jobs through the process, with Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu confirming that the process was underway.