Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Report Back

The meeting attended by BEMAWU, MWASA and CWU members took place at 15:00 today.

Auckland Park was well attended and the Auditorium packed and filled to its capacity. Members in all the regions participated via line conference. The proposal by management of a staggered increase was put to the joint caucus. It was almost unanimously rejected and the joint caucus demanded the immediate implementation of the 12.2%. Employees were not interested in a staggered increase.

The main reason voiced was a total lack of trust in the Board and Top management. Despite the assurance from union leaders that there will be a watertight agreement, employees were adamant that they have absolutely no trust in the Board and Top Management. Employees voiced their concerns and fears that the SABC will not honour the agreement to implement the staggered part (4.2%) later.

A vote of no confidence were then passed in the Board and Top Management and the caucus demanded the immediate resignation of the Board and Top Management. Fears and concerns were voiced that the SABC will finds itself in a much worse financial position by March 2010 when the last part of the multi-term will kick in. (Again CPI-X plus 1%). It was said that we will have to go through the same motions to get the increase. The majority of the joint caucus mandated the three unions to jointly declare a dispute of interest and to embark on protected industrial action should the Board and Top Management refuse to resign with immediate effect.

It was clear from the reaction of employees present at the meeting that they were angry about what they called disrespect for employees in general by management and the Board and some of them were prepared to embark on an unprotected strike to get their 12.2% immediately. We advised them against such action.

With a joint caucus it is difficult to determine what the real mandate of each individual union is.

BEMAWU will therefore seek a mandate from our members by means of SMS or electronic voting in respect of the staggered increase.

We will also poll our members in respect of the collective vote of no confidence in the Board and Top Management. Should the initial results show a strong support for procedural industrial action to force the Board and Top Management to resign, BEMAWU will conduct a proper ballot of BEMAWU members only and in terms of its constitution to determine support for a protected strike by our members.

With the Confederation Cup around the corner, we trust that the Board, or at least what is left of it, will resign to avoid a stand-off between the three unions and them. As the SABC has said, it will not be in the public interest.

Employees are not allowed to strike in respect of the salary dispute, but can certainly do so to get the Board to resign.

It is our view that industrial action should be reserved only as an absolute last resort, and it is not our intention to lobby our members to strike to get the Board to resign, and in particular to jeopardise the broadcasting of the Confederation Cup. We will therefore call on our members to be responsible and make their choice with their heads and not their hearts. Should the Board however refuse to resign, and the majority (80%) outcome of a ballot is in favour of industrial action, we will ensure that such industrial action will be procedural, protected (in compliance with the Labour Relations Act, and members will therefore not be at risk) and peaceful.



Anonymous said...

The SABC always seems to hold us to ransom when it comes to salary negations. Every year they come up with creative excuses not to pay us what we are really worth yet they go and overspend millions with no accountability. They also pay themselves huge salaries with no concern for the state of the corporation.


We should take this to the parliamentary committee on communications and table it in the next sitting of parliament.

The SABC in a NATIONAL ASSET that needs to be protected, from this Management who do not have the capacity and ability to manage it.

The first thing we need to do nationally is to hold lunch time pickets outside the SABC to make the public aware of our situation and get media coverage.

Then we start the DISPUTE process – GET OUR CERTIFICATE AND THEN GO ON AN ALL OUT STRIKE. as we have always threatened …we should do it now – but it has to be a protected strike.

It is clear they have done a very bad job of running the SABC since Dali took over and they definitely do not have what it takes to run the broadcaster at the moment.

• There is no communication from management to staff on the ground as to what is happening.

• They only communicate when they are offended by articles in the Mail & Guardian or the Sat Independent that they feel strongly or not happy about.
And only respond to certain selected paragraph’s they feel like answering too.

This management is requesting 2 billion to bail them out of the mess they created – They cannot be trusted – top management is aware that they are on their way out and so is the SABC Board – THEY ARE GOING TO TAKE THE 2 BILLION AND PAY THEMSELVES HEFTY BONUSES AND EXIT PACKAGES. THEY ARE NOT GOING TO BAIL THE SABC OUT – THEY ARE GOING TO BAIL THEMSELVES OUT. THEY HAVE TO BE STOPPED!!!!!

The Unions must go to government and inform them about this.

They caused the advertising sales to drop by reducing ad costs. They lost soccer rights. The list is endless….

They all gave themselves fat cheques as bonuses in December knowing full well that we were in the red. I have no sympathy for them as they have very little compassion for the staff on the ground.

Top management must be held accountable. They must be charged under the PUBLIC FINANCE ACT.

Anonymous said...

The ad discounts is not the reason the income is down, it is a symptom thereof.

The fact is that the sales staff is horrendously neglected - they try to put up a brave face, but we know better - they have been badly rewarded for their hard work and excellent service over the last few years.

We feel it is getting worse by the day, and if something is not done soon, our agency, and many others, will have to find other ways to satisfy the needs of our clients.

Pay the staff a fair commission. We read horrible (but credible) reports of the SABC management and finance people taking the bulc of commissions for themselves.

We believe you should prioritise that in this week.

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