23 January, 2017
Update on Developments Surrounding Adoption of a National Minimum Wage
Please find attached
for your information an interesting article that appeared in
yesterday's Business Day concerning the above. In brief, it appears as
if the parties at Nedlac are very close to an agreement on:
- A national minimum wage -probably R3500 per month (although the sectors covered by such still need to be negotiated)
- Labour Relations matters:
- Secret strike ballots
- Code of good practice i.r.o. collective bargaining and behaviour during industrial action
- The use of "advisory arbitration"
FSA will be making the necessary submission once the final negotiated proposals are Gazetted for public comment.
from the issue of wages, the Labour Relations system has long been
criticised for being too rigid and any introduction in the system to
make it more flexible would be most welcome.
Members will be kept abreast of developments.
Forestry South Africa
Nedlac edges closer to deal on minimum wage
Business DAY 12 JANUARY 2017 - 06:06 AM LINDA
|Agreement stands: The Department of Labour's Thembinkosi Mkalipi sees no change to the R20 per hour wage recommended.
at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) on a national
minimum wage and measures to stabilise labour relations are far advanced and
could be finalised ahead of President Jacob Zuma's state of the nation address
on February 9.
would allow him to announce the ground-breaking agreement as a major
achievement of his administration when he reviews the year gone by and outlines
the government's plans for the year ahead.
the legislative process of incorporating the agreement into law will take much
longer as the draft bill would have to be submitted to the Cabinet, released
for public comment, redrafted and undergo the parliamentary process of public
hearings and debate.
movement towards reforming the legislative framework for labour relations will
be critical in addressing some of the concerns of credit ratings agencies,
which have flagged the rigidity of the system.
parties to Nedlac were hoping to wrap up their negotiations on the national
minimum wage and the labour relations system at meetings held on Wednesday and
to be held again next week, said Department of Labour chief director of labour
relations Thembinkosi Mkalipi.
did not believe there would be any change to the national minimum wage of R20
per hour recommended by the panel set up by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
However, many matters still needed to be finalised such as who would be covered
by the minimum wage and how it would be reviewed.
is still a lot of discussion that we need to have around this," Mkalipi
was also an "understanding" within Nedlac on the need for secret
ballots ahead of a strike, he added. Secret ballots have been a hugely
contentious issue and have been strongly opposed by trade unions
Unity SA representative in Nedlac Tanya Cohen said also under discussion was a
very significant code of good practice on collective bargaining, industrial
action and picketing, which she said went a very long way in giving guidance as
to what was acceptable behaviour and what was not during industrial action.
included the use of dangerous weapons during strike-related conduct.
lot of discussion had also taken place around the issue of advisory arbitration
with some details still needing to be thrashed out.
arbitration refers to the arbitration carried out under the auspices of the
Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration for parties to prolonged
and violent strikes which offer little prospect of an agreement being reached.
idea is that the arbitrator/ mediator would propose an advisory settlement
which the employer and the trade unions could take back to their constituencies
in a bid to get an agreement.
advice could be accepted or rejected but the mechanism allowed for a third
party to bring some rationality to a dispute, Cohen said.
is a substantial package and if it is adopted in the form it has been presented
it will be extremely positive for the country," she said, acknowledging
that there were still some "sticky bits" to work out.
"substantially there is significant agreement on the issues".
meeting would be by a subcommittee of the committee of principals and would
decide on the recommendations of the panel, Cohen said. Discussions would also
take place on issues of labour relations stability - within task teams - which
were at a very advanced stage.
is significant urgency and all social partners are trying very hard to finalise
the issues," Cohen said.
agreed that the legislative process enacting the changes would take time, but
noted that Nedlac task teams had formulated legal texts to amend the Labour
Relations Act to achieve greater stability.
draft legislation is substantially there," she said.
Sources: FSA / Business Day