Wednesday, 17 June 2009

At the CCMA....

In summary:

  • Conciliation at the CCMA took place on Monday. 8.5% were offered and was rejected by the unions. The Commissioner undertook to issue a Certificate of Outcome by no later than Thursday, which will enable SABC employees to embark on a protected strike 48 hours thereafter.
  • Union leadership met with Mr. Ismael Vadi, chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Tuesday at Wits. He gave an undertaking that the turmoil at the SABC will receive parliament's most urgent attention and expressed the Government's concern that the Confederations Cup may be in jeopardy if employees proceed with a strike.
  • Please vote. See left.

In detail:

What has been called a revised offer were tabled by the SABC on 15 June at the CCMA.

Andre Weber, the notorious acting General of employee relations (oops, I left out manager) informed Senior part-time Commissioner, Mr. Patrick Stone the SABC is prepared to offer 8.5% and no more. The difference of 3.7% will disappear in thin air.

Another fatal and extremely poor managerial decision, Mr. Mampone!

You have send someone at the most critical time in the history of the SABC to the CCMA who has absolutely NO human relations and who is deeply mistrusted by the unions. No-one even listened properly to Mr. Weber who is always willing and ready to attempt to impress all and sundry with his legal technical arguments. For angry employees who has already started to embark on small-scale wild cat strikes (the sit-in at Gab's office for example) this is petrol on fire.

Mr. Mampone, this would have been the time to send your best and most trusted negotiators, not your police. If ever there was a need to spent money on a consultant, this would have been the time to do so. Those are the skills you don't have in the SABC. You would have expected in any normal organisation the Chief Executive of Human Resources to be that person. Trusted by the Unions because of the good relationship you have build with them. Instead, Mr. Mampone your CE, Human Resources has since the peaceful sit-in at your office (the office which you occupied illegally according to the Acting in higher grade Policy of the SABC) never came to work. Not that we miss her. She was in any event most of the time not there - in more than one way. Now she is too scared to come to work.

Has she filled in a leave form?

Back to salaries. Mr. Mampone has invited the unions to a meeting today. We will soon report back. If no better offer is made, we will proceed with action.

The SABC raised a technical point in respect of the wording and classification of the disputes referred to the CCMA.

Mr. Weber wanted to delay the resolution of the salary dispute by arguing before the Commissioner that the matter must be set down for evidence before a certificate can be issued.

What a stupid thing to do!

When you are sitting with a situation where disgruntled employees are already spontaneously embarking on wild cat strikes every sensible employer would want to resolve this as quick as possible. Particularly an employer who has spent millions of public money to litigate against its own employees. More particularly an employer who has the responsibility to broadcast the Confederations Cup and who is on the eve of the Soccer World Cup.

But not Mr. Mampone and Weber.

BEMAWU filed our dispute as a dispute of right. It basically means we are saying our members are in terms of the agreement entitled to the 12.2% increase and we will enforce that by way of arbitration/court action. The consequence of this is that BEMAWU members may not embark on a primary strike, but may do so on a secondary strike.

The other two unions termed their dispute differently - as a dispute of interest. It basically means they are saying their members are not entitled to the 12.2% increase but they (we) want it and we want to resort to industrial action should we not get it.

Ok, so there is method in this madness.

We have structured the disputes in this manner to cover ourselves properly. We termed our dispute as a dispute of right because we have an agreement that stipulates the SABC is liable for CPIX plus 1% thus 12.2% increase. It can however take some time to get the dispute arbitrated. So the other two unions termed their disputes as interest disputes, which will enable all three unions to strike - in their case a primary strike, and our members may join in a sympathy strike.

Our collective members at Sentech may also join in a sympathy strike.


Mr. Minister, let us not disappoint our viewers. Let us not scare away the World Cup. But please understand, SABC employees also have rights. And it is a legislated and constitutional right to strike on a matter on mutual interest, i.e a salary increase.

And PLEASE, you have now seen the results of party politics in an organisation. Learn from the past and please ensure we will get a broadcasting, and not a political board. And please get rid of the party political camps in management. Any citizen has the constitutional right to belong to a political party, but they don't have the right to practice that in a workplace where other groups of employees are discriminated against because they don't support the correct political party. We cannot again afford an organisation where you only get promoted and a nice job because you are carrying a card of the correct political party or its affiliates and alliances.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We cannot wait for Friday and hope Top Management will all resign. Just a pity that the Minister of Communication still does not understand broadcasting.

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