Today SEIFSA and all five trade unions registered with the Metals and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) signed an important Settlement Agreement that concludes this year’s negotiations, averts any possibility of industrial action and lays the groundwork for industrial peace and stability for the next three years. A copy of the comments that I delivered at the signing ceremony this morning is attached hereto for your information.
The Agreement comprises the following key elements:
- A three-year agreement effective from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020;
- A collective undertaking by all the parties to seek the extension of a new, consolidated Main Agreement to all non-party employers and employees in the industry;
- An undertaking by all the parties to ensure that the application to extend the Agreement is not legally defective and that it is fully compliant and aligned with the relevant provisions of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995, as amended;
- The retention of Clause 37 (the protection clause against a compulsion to bargain at plant level), coupled to a full and final settlement clause locking in all the terms and conditions of employment contained in the Main Agreement and this Settlement Agreement – including those matters highlighted for on-going discussion during the currency of this Agreement (e.g. medical aid, housing, etc.) to a no-strike clause for the duration of this Agreement (i.e. until 30 June 2020);
- Wage increases on actual rates of pay across the board (i.e. from Rate A to H) of 7% in 2017, 6,75% in 2018 and 6,5% in 2019;
- An exemption provision entitling companies which are members of one of the employer parties to this Agreement to apply for exemption from the 2017 wage increases within thirty (30) days of the signing of the Settlement Agreement (i.e. by no later than 22 September 2017) and on or before 31 July 2018 and 31 July 2019 in years two and three respectively of this Agreement; andAn undertaking to back-date the increases to 1 July 2017 in return for the trade unions having honoured a commitment not to issue a strike notice, whilst negotiations were still continuing in good faith, in an endeavour to reach an agreement.
The opportunity to apply for an exemption is not available to companies which are not members of employer parties (Associations) which are not party to this Agreement.
The wage tables for 2017, effective from 1 July 2017, have been posted together with this Update issue.
A member company wishing to apply for a wage exemption should refer to the SEIFSA Management Brief Wage Increase Exemptions available on www.seifsa.co.za, which provides valuable guidance and assistance to members in making successful wage exemption applications. The brief also contains the requisite Bargaining Council exemption application questionnaire.
Member companies requiring any assistance in completing the necessary documentation are invited to contact the staff of the Industrial Relations and Legal Services Division, on (011) 298-9400, for advice and assistance.
We at SEIFSA thank each and every employer representative nominated by their respective Associations who gave unstintingly of their time to assist and play a crucially important role in the negotiations process.
We remain clear in our minds about our roles: member Associations, through the SEIFSA Council, developed the negotiating mandate. Working with representatives from the respective Associations, the SEIFSA Negotiating Team implemented that mandate to the letter and did everything in its power to arrive at the best possible deal under the circumstances.
We are immensely grateful to the SEIFSA Board, the SEIFSA Council, our member Associations and every member appointed to be part of the SEIFSA Negotiating Team that was so ably led by our Operations Director, Lucio Trentini.
The three-year (2017 to 2020) Settlement Agreement is the fruit of their collective labour.
PDF versions of the tables and the Wage Increase Exemptions are attached below.