NATIONAL NEWS - A new public service union formed by former SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) members was launched in Johannesburg on Thursday.
The newly-formed SA Public Service Union (Sapsu) is led by expelled Sadtu president Thobile Ntola as national convenor and former North West provincial secretary Lawrence Tsajwa.
The union described itself as a "dynamic, independent and non-aligned organisation of public service workers and related fields".
"This development has been necessitated by a chain of events, which we all know, which represents the single most trying time, and most historic moment and turning point in the labour movement since the dawn of our democracy," Sapsu said in a statement.
"At this time, workers' gains have been set back by the selfish interests of a few, while the rich get richer and the poor get poorer."
It said small meetings were held countrywide and on November 29 the first national consultative meeting was held in Bloemfontein.
The meeting was attended by representatives from the different provinces and delegates were drawn from various sectors of the public service.
Sapsu said workers from correctional services, the SA Police Service, education, health, social development, and the National Prosecuting Authority were present at the meeting.
Sapsu said many public service workers believed their voices had been "suppressed in the shadow of dictatorship" by leaders of current unions and employers, who were acting together.
"Unfortunately, we are confronted by... a question of whether to honour and respect our liberation brands and symbols even if they have been robbed of their content and substance, the historic mission, the mission of fighting for mankind, the mission of fighting for a better life for all, the mission that we won't rest until all of us are free.
"We are confronted with the question of whether a possibility exists to be truly liberated without us first liberating ourselves from the liberation movement," Sapsu said.