A news article last weekend indicated that someone in National Treasury had said that, in order to balance the books of government, the salaries of public servants would have to be reduced by 10%.

NAPTOSA members are advised not to let themselves get worked up by such scaremongering rumours. If government believes that a unilateral reduction of public servant salaries is possible without plunging South Africa into total chaos, they are totally naïve.

Should this ever happen, it would mean that collective bargaining and the Labour Relations Act, that government hold dear, and parade to other countries as shining examples of our progressiveness, will be dismantled in a single stroke. Because essential services will then no longer exist, one can expect services such as health and police to come to a standstill. Equally so the education system. No country can afford this.

The PSCBC held a Special Council meeting this past week and not one of the unions raised this matter – most likely because it is difficult to take a rumour like this seriously, especially if it suggests unilateral action by the employer.

Members can, however, be assured that should something like this ever come up, whether through unilateral action or by the tabling thereof in the collective bargaining process, NAPTOSA will vigorously oppose it, as will every other union that is party to the PSCBC.

We trust that the State as employer will in future ensure that no such irresponsible statements surface from within their ranks.