SARS workers embark on strike
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) says the strike by the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) and the Public Servants Association (PSA) caused minimal disruptions on Tuesday.
The unions embarked on an industrial action, following its temporary suspension by the PSA in May, and union leadership has indicated that they intend to remain on strike until SARS improves its wage offer.
Unions are demanding salaries to be adjusted based on the October 2021 CPI plus 7% across the board, backdated to April this year.
This while the taxman isn’t budging from its offer of a 1.39% increment.
‘’The dispute arose because of trade unions’ rejection of the available R70 million for baseline increases for bargaining unit employees. SARS has communicated that it does not decide on its own funding, but is dependent on an annual allocation made through a process managed by National Treasury,’’ it said in a statement.
‘’SARS remain empathetic to financial challenges caused by increasing food and fuel prices as well as other essential services. These conditions affect majority of South Africans including SARS employees,’’ it added.
The revenue service says while some of its branches had to close due to absence of workers, overall taxpayers have continued to interact with the organistion online.
“Sars has furthermore put business continuity plans and other contingencies in order to continue to deliver essential service to taxpayers. We urge the public to utilize our website for further updates on how to engage with Sars to fulfil their required obligations.
It urged taxpayers to avoid going to a SARS office It has also urged the unions to protest peacefully.
“Sars has demonstrated transparency in its financial position and willingness to engage the union leadership on ending the impasse. Sars has done everything in its power and within the available funding to extend the offer to trade unions, which remains available,’’ it said.
Done By: Mitchum George