At today’s CCMA facilitated bargaining council dispute sub-committee meeting held between the trade unions, the SEIFSA affiliated Employer Associations, NEASA and SAEFA, all the parties agreed to continue negotiations in a serious endeavour to stave off the possibility of industry industrial action.
Members will be aware that negotiations are taking place under the auspices of the bargaining council’s constitution which prescribes that once a dispute has been declared and a process has been agreed on how best to deal with the deadlock – on the expiry of a thirty day window, any party to the dispute may call for the issuing of a certificate of non resolution. With NUMSA having declared its dispute against all the employer organisations on the 29 July and SEIFSA on behalf of the Associations having countered with its dispute against NUMSA on 2 August, the certificate of non-resolution could have been called for as early as today.
Today’s session, facilitated by a CCMA Commissioner, ended with the parties agreeing that the life of the sub-committee be extended to Tuesday, 14 September 2021, at which point the parties will report that an agreement has been reached or alternatively and notwithstanding the best endeavours of all the parties, the parties have failed in their efforts to break the deadlock.
Members will be aware that 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 offer for this year translates to the following impact on workers’ pay packet:
|Rate||Current Minimum Wage Rate 2020||Guaranteed Personal Increase||New Entry Level Wage Rates 2021|
|R c||R c||R c|
Negotiations will continue in earnest between all the parties and every reasonable effort will be made to avoid a 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 put in place measures, including but not limited to making provisions for stock, material, enhanced security etc. in order to be properly prepared should negotiations between now and the 14 September break-down.
We will immediately advise the membership the moment we are made aware that industrial action is imminent.
We will continue to keep all members fully informed as developments unfold.