Jaco van Staden
Hannes du Buisson
Ray Halim-Administrator: Bargaining Forum
Meeting convened with no welcome or introductions just organized labour stating that they were invited to this meeting and needed clarity on the purpose of the meeting and who they were representing.
Bernard Koma on behalf of the management team – thanked all and appreciated their attendance. He stated that the team was aware of the salary negotiations which have gone beyond expectations. He also confirmed that the team was put together by the GCEO to try and facilitate continued salary talks with organized labour and that the GCEO, CPO and Sipho Sithole will not be joining the meeting.
Organized Labour responded that at a meeting held on Monday, 6 July 2009 it was made clear to Management that they had started the process and labour expects them to continue with the process until concluded and this is the basis of labour's question as stated above –'who are you'.
Organized Labour continued to state that they had expected the Minister of Communication to be a part of this meeting as this was the undertaking from GCEO for a multi-party forum with the Minister.
Organized Labour also stated that previous communication was a problem with the GCEO and the wanted the mandate giver (the Minister) to attend the meeting for clarity on the situation, and now failed to understand why another level is introduced which will further complicate the communication.
It also was clear to organized labour that this team was not sure of the offer and so effectively was bringing nothing new to this table.
Organized Labour stated that it is a waste of time trying to discuss issues already on the table whilst the place (SABC) due to the strike is going to burn in a few days and meant it literally not figuratively that the SABC will be going off air in a few days.
Organized Labour wanted to know who made this decision to bring in a new team of negotiators. They stated that constructive meetings to resolve this issue were urgently required and that this is unprofessional behaviour demonstrated by the SABC Management. They also questioned why those who they have been in discussions who carry the mandate, is now distancing themselves.
Organized Labour further stated that if individuals in the organization had the interest of the organization at heart they should have engaged labour as early as February 2009. and perhaps labour would have agreed to a negotiated salary increase. Going one step forward and 15 back will be irresponsible from labour and it will not be able to explain to crowd seen outside why they have taken so many steps back.
Bernard Koma responded that he wanted to address 2 or 3 issues and stated that the team was not informed that the Minister would be required to attend this meeting. He also agreed that talks have been happening with the Group Executive and that they had decided that this team continue with the negotiations and requested perhaps one of the other team members to assist.
Eddie Molokwane requested a caucus as he felt it imperative that the team respond accordingly to the issues raised by Organized Labour.
Organized Labour stated that they had no intention of being rude, but a caucus would be futile if this team did not have a new mandate and that it was a waste of time to continue with this meeting.
Eddie Molokwane reiterated the purpose of the caucus was to give an informed and responsible response to the questions raised and once again requested a 5 minute caucus.
Organized Labour stated that meeting with this team was a problem as the GCEO had no time to caucus and had the answers immediately. Sitting with this team while they have to consult for a mandate while a strike is going to take the SABC off air is a waste of time and irresponsible. Labour just wants an answer 'YES or NO'.
Bernard Koma once again requested the 5 minute caucus and stated that the team will address that question after the caucus.
Organized Labour commented that it is no point as it is clear that there is no new mandate, and that the team should not say they do not have a new percentage as labour is aware that the team was briefed.
Tseliso Ralitabo – "I'm of the opinion that we should be given an opportunity to caucus in order to respond to your questions which obviously is in conflict with the brief. More importantly to have a sense of your understanding of a new mandate and I want a sense of the last mandate so that I can say whether we have a new mandate or not."
Organized Labour – "you see Cde that is creating and adding to the problem. You've made it a very, very big problem because if you don't even know what was said previously to us, on what basis do you come here and talk to us if you were not properly briefed. So what you are effectively saying is that you are going to run back to two weeks and now we will have to brief you and inform you on what was said and not said for you to get on speed if you don't know what the mandate what was last presented to us it is a serious problem – we take exception that we are getting that kind of treatment from the SABC side but let me help you the last offer was we don't know where the another 1.5% will come from whether it will come and how it will come – that's the last offer."
Tseliso Ralitabo – "thank you very much Cde that's what I wanted to know. I didn't not say I did not know what the last offer was I needed to calibrate your understanding of the last offer to compare what we have to say new or not."
Organized Labour agrees to caucus
Bernard Koma thanked labour for the caucus and requested Tseliso Ralitabo to address the meeting.
Tseliso Ralitabo's response - the team respects labours position as they were not aware of all the issues and stated that they will communicate same to principles as the continuation of this meeting would be in violation of agreements between Management and Labour. Tseliso Ralitabo also apologized for inviting labour to a meeting without full background to previous meetings.