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The structure and format of the negotiations on the 2020 Main Agreement wages
and conditions of employment will soon begin to take shape. 

Following nominations submitted by the various Associations, the SEIFSA Council
will elect a Main Agreement Negotiating Team. This Team will receive its mandate
from the SEIFSA Council and is duty-bound to report back on progress to the
Council as the negotiating process unfolds. Any revisions and/ or amendments to the
mandate reside strictly with the SEIFSA Council.

Based on past experience, we outline below timelines of how we believe the process
is likely to unfold.   

February:

  • Constitute the Main Agreement Negotiating Team at the SEIFSA Council Meeting of
    3 February 2020;
  • At the appropriate time, the Main Agreement Negotiating Team will nominate a
    smaller negotiating team comprising between 5 and 8 representatives to close the
    deal;
  • Commence informal engagements with key trade union parties (individually and
    possibly collectively) and other interested/willing employer bodies outside of the
    broad SEIFSA constituency;
  • Have “2020 Main Agreement Negotiations” as a standing item on all Association
    Agendas and begin the process of seeking input from each Association on
    employers’ views and broad mandates;
  • Member Associations to develop mandated positions well in advance of the
    commencement of negotiations;
  • Approach the MEIBC to suggest that it requests the CCMA to avail a team Senior
    Commissioners (of at least two) to facilitate the negotiation process from
    commencement to eventual settlement; and
  • Request the MEIBC to arrange (resources permitting), through the CCMA, the
    convening of a Pre-Bargaining Conference.

March:

  • Deepen and broaden the engagement process with all key players, with key
    members of the Main Agreement Negotiating Team playing a role in setting the
    agenda and specifics for various engagements;
  • Working with the Main Agreement Negotiating Team, formulate the broad framework
    of employer themes and mandates, identify key deliverables and the guiding
    framework against which all trade union demands will be considered;
  • Formulate key, over-arching broad principles or drivers and draft, un-mandated
    settlement/ closing positions;
  • Resources permitting, schedule the Pre-Bargaining Conference and sign off on the
    agenda, topics and presenters; and
  • Associations to finalize their tentative mandated positions.


April
:

  • Resources permitting, convene the Pre-Bargaining Conference;
  • Continue with on-going engagements with interested/available key stakeholders;
  • Receive mandated inputs from the Associations for incorporation into a draft
    Employer Position/Demands letter;
  • Finalize the “Over-arching Broad Principles/ Drivers” document, inclusive of the
    suggested, un-mandated Settlement/Closing Positions;
  • Finalize the “SEIFSA Position/Demand Letter” for mandating by the SEIFSA Council
    at a Special SEIFSA Council sitting in April; and
  • Once mandated, prepare the “Associations’ Position/Demand” letter for the attention
    of the MEIBC, copying all the Parties and formally triggering Annexure E of the
    MEIBC Constitution.

May:

  • Dispatch the “SEIFSA Demand Letter” (on behalf of the Associations) to the MEIBC
    and Parties in the first week of May;
  • At the May MEIBC MANCO Meeting, agree on the deadline date for the receipt of the
    various trade unions’ demands and schedule the first series of Main Agreement
    Negotiation dates to be facilitated by the CCMA.

SET ASIDE MAY AND JUNE AND AIM TO CONCLUDE NEGOTIATIONS BY
30 JUNE 2020

  • From April to the end of June 2020, the SEIFSA Council will convene at least
    twice per month;
  • Anticipate a number of additional off-line working group meetings taking place
    between the parties as the process unfolds;
  • Anticipate, plan and be prepared for possible industrial action;
  • Ensure that the Negotiating Team is properly mandated throughput the
    process;
  • Keep the SEIFSA Council, Associations, affiliated member companies and the
    broader industry appraised and updated on all developments throughout the
    process. 

We have every intention of working hard to ensure that this year’s negotiations result
in a realistic settlement that is informed by the current state of our economy and our
sector, preferably without us first having to go through a round of industrial action.
However, since negotiations are not a one-sided process, the final outcome of the
process will depend on the mandate given to us and the position of our labour
partners.

Kaizer M. Nyatsumba
Chief Executive Officer