Saturday, 30 May 2009

We did NOT sign...

BEMAWU did NOT sign a 7% or any salary increase with the SABC.

Apparently some reckless and clueless individuals has spread this rumour. It appears to be the same clueless individuals who are currently foolishly advising union members to embark on a strike on an agreement that has already secured 12.2% for members. Failure to implement MUST be referred to litigation, and cannot be subjected to a strike. It is the same individuals who has said they will NOT negotiate with the SABC, whilst we have agreed (in the multi-term agreement) to negotiate should the CPIX be more or less than what was stipulated in the agreement.

Those individuals are repudiating the contract (multi-term agreement) by refusing to comply with terms of the contract, and the SABC can accept the repudiation and cancel the contract if they want to, resulting in negotiations from scratch.

In short, they are risking the 12.2% we have already secured.

BEMAWU has a cordial relationship with both the CWU and MWASA and we will not allow uninformed selfish individuals in those organisations to risk that relationship or the employment and well being of SABC employees.

We will continue to negotiate with the SABC to secure the best deal for our members without risking their employment. We will not lead our members on a strike for the sake of striking. Should we not be able to get what we believe is fair, we will pursue a legal route.

Without repeating what we have said previously, we see the issue at hand very simply to be:
  • We concluded an agreement where the SABC and us agreed to CPIX +1%
  • We have agreed that it will be implemented 1 April 2009. (This is where the SABC is in breach of contract, and we have threatened them with legal action)
  • The SABC must therefore implement the 12.2% until we have concluded a new agreement, if at all
  • We agreed any party to the agreement may re-open negotiations should the CPIX falls below 4% or rises to 9% or above,
  • The opening of negotiations does not terminate the agreement, in particular not the implementation of the CPIX +1% which has been fixed on 12.2%,
  • Only when we have concluded a new agreement after negotiations, the 12.2% obligation changes to whatever we have agreed to, if we agree to something else.
  • Putting it differently, we have 12.2% in hand. The SABC should convince us to accept less.
  • They can only do so by means of negotiations, meaning we must agree to a lower increase or by locking us out after they have followed due procedure.
  • Had the CPIX been below 4% - say 3%, the SABC would have been contractually bound to implement 4% (CPIX + 1%) on 1 April 2009.
  • We would have been entitled to re-open negotiations, and in the event that we were not able to negotiate a higher percentage increase, the increase would remain 4%. It would be possible to embark on a protected strike to persuade the SABC to offer more.
  • So can employees strike at this point in time?
  • Technically yes, but it would be stupid to strike for something you already have (the 12.2%). If the CPIX was 3%, we would have had 4% in hand (CPIX + 1%), and could then strike for a higher percentage.

It was never the intention of the parties to this multi-term agreement to delay the implementation date of salaries because we are not in agreement with each other on a lower (or higher) percentage. The SABC has admitted to the 12.2%.

We will on Monday again demand immediate implementation of the 12.2% and we will again commit ourselves to good faith negotiations in respect of a possible different structuring of the agreement. Should the SABC fails to agree, we will proceed with litigation.


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