At today’s CCMA facilitated bargaining council dispute sub-committee meeting held between the trade unions, the SEIFSA affiliated Employer Associations, NEASA, SAEFA and CEO, all the parties agreed to continue negotiations on Thursday, 2 September 2021.
This is an important development as it signals a serious intent on the part of all the parties to explore all possibilities in attempting to break the deadlock, before resorting to calling for the issuing on of a certificate on non-resolution which opens the way for the issuing of strike and lock-out notification.
Today’s session assisted all the parties in gaining a better understanding of each other’s position and with the follow-up meeting scheduled for the 2 September all parties will have a final opportunity to take stock of their respective positions.
The SEIFSA affiliated Associations settlement offer is based on four inter-related pillars namely:
- Wage increases and a wage model;
- Extension; and
- A special phase-in dispensation aimed at encouraging greater support for centralised collective bargaining which is now, more than ever, needed to ensure the survival, recovery, growth and sustainability of the industry in an environment of industrial peace, stability and certainty.
This offer sees workers receiving a 4, 4% increase this year, a CPI plus 0.5% increase in 2022 and CPI plus 1% increase in 2023, with a floor and ceiling of 3% and 6% in years 2 and 3 guaranteeing workers not less than a 3% or 6% increment plus the cost of living adjustment of 0.5% and 1% in years 2 and 3 respectively.
The proposed agreement this year sees workers receiving the following guaranteed Rand/cents personal increase to their actual hourly rate per hour:
|Rate||Current Minimum Wage Rate 2020||Guaranteed Personal Increase||New Entry Level Wage Rates 2021|
|R c||R c||R c|
As part of the agreement a special phase-in dispensation will be on offer to employers who are currently paying below the current scheduled rates and are not members of an employer organisation that is a party to the main agreement.
Employers who are paying at or above 60% of the current scheduled rates on the 1 July 2021 will have ten (10) years to phase-in to 100% of the scheduled rates and employers who are paying below 60% of the current scheduled rates on 1 July 2021 will have 5 (five) years to phase-in to 60% of the scheduled rates and thereafter ten (10) years to phase-in to 100% of the scheduled rates.
Negotiations will continue in earnest between all the parties and every reasonable effort will be made to avoid a complete breakdown in negotiations which will open the way for industry strike and lock-out action.
Notwithstanding our commitment to working around the clock to avoid industrial action, members are nevertheless urged to begin putting in place measures, including but not limited to making provisions for stock, material, enhanced security etc. in order to be properly prepared should the prospect of strike and lock-out action become a reality.
We will immediately advise the membership the moment we anticipate that industrial action is imminent.
We will continue to keep all members fully informed as developments unfold.
Lucio Trentini, SEIFSA CEO