NEHAWU KZN Provincial day of action

The National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union  KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Day of Action is taking place tomorrow in Pietermaritzburg. The Day of Action will take the form of a march that will be directed to both the Premier and Provincial treasury. NEHAWU members will gather at Dales Park at 10am and march to the Provincial Legislature located at 244 Langalibalele Street where the premier, Willies Mchunu, will accept the memorandum of demands.

The march will then proceed straight to Treasury House which is located at 145 Chief Albert Luthuli Street in Pietermaritzburg where a memorandum will be handed-over to the MEC for Finance, Belinda Scott, at 13H00.
The march will also call for an immediate intervention to make sure that hospitals have enough staff across all sectors from doctors to cleaners and also for the insourcing of services like security, cleaners and all functions essentials for hospitals to fulfil their critical role of providing health services.

NUM weighs new Chamber wage offer

Miningmx reports that the Chamber of Mines of SA and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) reconvened on Monday (November 20).to discuss the latest coal industry wage offer made following eleventh hour talks. Livhuwani Mammburuu, spokesman for the NUM, commented:  “I can’t say at this stage whether we can accept or reject the latest proposal from the coal mining firms.  By Wednesday, members ought to give the union a mandate.”  He declined to comment on whether the Chamber had made any concessions on centralised bargaining in future wage talks.

The coal companies’ reticence to conduct future wage talks under the auspices of the Chamber has been a major sticking point.  The NUM would prefer to settle wage negotiations through centralised bargaining in the future; so much so, that it has made it part of its wage demands. Coal mining companies are thought to have argued that individualised wage negotiations make it easier for the smaller coal miners to reach agreements of their own rather than having to toe the line of the financially stronger larger companies.  The NUM has meantime held back notice of a strike in view of Monday’s plenary session.

by David McKay

Nehawu stages march against Department of Higher Education

eNCA reports that disruptions on Tuesday are expected at Technical and Vocational Education and Training [TVET] and the Community Education and Training [CET] Colleges countrywide. This largely is due to a planned national day of action march against the Department of Higher Education and Training to take place in Pretoria by members of the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU].

The march from Marabastad [Old Putco depot] goes to the Department of Higher Education and Training [Corner Francis Baard & Sophie De Bruyn Street] in Pretoria to hand a memorandum of grievances to the department. The union said it expect the department to act in 14 days after the handover.

NUM opposes the retrenchment of 47 workers at WBHO

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members employed by Wilson Bailey Homes and Ovcon (WBHO) in Kwazulu-Natal are determined to stop the employer in its attempt to casualize the Civil Engineering Industry. NUM and WBHO have been in Section 189A consultation meetings since 02 October 2017 where the employer has been insisting that they want to restructure the company into a construction management entity which will be tendering for jobs and give them to subcontractors at low rates than provided by the Bargaining Council for Civil Engineering Industry (BCCEI).

The NUM is strongly opposed to the retrenchment of 47 NUM members by  WBHO in Kwazulu-Natal. The company issued Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act to initially retrench 58 workers but after consultations with the NUM, the number was brought down to 47. NUM says it will not allow the company to do down variation on the employment standards in the industry and defend its gains until the last drop of blood. NUM is calling upon the Bargaining Council to intervene.


Pension funds are not slush funds for SOEs: Cosatu

ANA reports that the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Friday, came out strongly against the use of Public Investment Corporation (PIC) funds to bail out cash strapped state-owned enterprises, unless SAA becomes an investment worthy enterprises. “Cosatu wants to make it clear to government that the PIC is not a slush fund. It is not there to balance the budget,” Cosatu parliamentary coordinator Matthew Parks said while briefing Parliament’s standing committee on appropriations said.

“It’s is not a kitty for cash strapped ministries. It is not a bailout for funds for state owned enterprises that have been running into the ground by corrupt leaders.” Cosatu welcomed the overhauling of the South African Airways (SAA) board, specifically than of its former chairwoman, Dudu Myeni, but said this was not enough. The trade union federation said it also wanted SAA, along with Eskom and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa removed from the department of public enterprises (DPE). “It has failed miserable. We really don’t understand why we have this department,” said Parks. “We propose the staff of DPE absorbed by the DTI [department of trade and investment], or whatever.”

by Chantall Presence

NUM to serve another 48-hour notice in coal sector

EWN reports that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says it will serve another 48-hour notice to go on strike in the coal sector if it cannot reach an agreement with employers on Monday. The union has postponed the strike which was due to officially begin tomorrow as some of the coal companies are proposing a new wage offer.

The NUM is demanding a R1,100 once off offer for this year, as well as an 8% and 9,5% wage increases for 2018 and 2019 respectively. Employers are only offering a R600 once off along with a 7.5% hike for 2018 and 2019. The NUM’s Livhuwani Mammburu says, “Our members are the ones who were given as a mandate to say don’t file the notice now, let us see what these companies are going to offer on Monday. “And then, if they offer something good, they will accept but if they don’t offer something good, our members will immediately give us a mandate to go on strike.”

by Koketso Motau

Communication Workers Union Labour Court victory

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) says that it welcomes the Labour Court’s judgement on a matter between CWU on behalf of its members and the South African Post Office (SAPO). The judgement instructed South African Post Office to retrospectively reinstate 35 workers whom were dismissed on 12 December 2014, for partaking in an unprotected strike. These workers were alleged to have been on an unprotected strike after they requested a meeting with SAPO senior manager in order to discuss allegations, that said Post Office management was misusing their provident funds.

This was after their salaries were paid in a form of instalments (paid partially on different dates; during the same month), and that confirmed their fears at a time.  On the 16 of December 2015, CWU won the case against the employer where CCMA issued an arbitration award wherein the order for reinstatement coupled with back pay was made. These workers were in terms of the award required to report for duty on the 11th January 2016, which they did. However, the Post Office refused to reinstate them on the basis that the award was taken on review. On the 3rdNovember 2017, the review application set before Justice Prinsloo J at Labour Court wherein she dismissed the review application with cost. According to CWU, this judgement sends a clear message to employers out there, that at no time shall worker’s rights be trampled upon.

Civil Engineering Bargaining Council strengthens negotiation skills

Engineering News reports that to ease wage negotiations in its industry, the Bargaining Council for the Civil Engineering Industry (BCCEI) has embarked on building strong negotiations through training. Members of the National Negotiating Forum (NNF) have been undergoing training courses to improve their negotiation skills.  During 2016, two training courses from the International Labour Organisation were completed, followed by a collective bargaining/negotiation skills course and a relationship building initiative workshop this year.

Both workshops were presented by Conflict Dynamics.  The NNF intends to start its industry negotiations during the first week of February 2018, even though the current collective agreement only expires in August 2018.  The council has also established a dispute resolution centre – accredited by the CCMA – to conciliate and arbitrate in cases in the sector where parties cannot reach a settlement.  The council’s party members include the Building, Construction and Allied Workers Union and the National Union of Mineworkers on the employees’ side, while employers are represented by the SA Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors and the small business focused Consolidated Employers’ Organisation.

Government must leave UIF money alone, says Cosatu

News24 reports that labour federation Cosatu said on Monday that it would reject the proposed ring-fencing of R50bn from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) for technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges. The Fees Commission that investigated the feasibility of free tertiary education has recommended that surplus money from the UIF be used to fund infrastructure development at TVET colleges. Should President Jacob Zuma adopt the recommendations as they stand, the use of UIF funds would have to be tabled at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).

Cosatu said it would oppose the recommendation there.  It added that, while it supported free education in principle, government must “stay away from workers’ money”.  Spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said:  “Government must go find the money somewhere else.  There are billions of rands from the fiscus that are misappropriated, why doesn’t government go after that money?”  Reports in 2016 indicated that the UIF had a surplus of almost R99bn.

by Mahlatse Mahlase

Secretary of Parliament facing disciplinary action

eNCA reports that Secretary of Parliament, Gengezi Mgidlana is facing disciplinary action. The action follows an internal parliamentary probe into allegations of corruption and maladministration.

The National Health Education & Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) accused Mgidlana of among other things, awarding himself an education bursary and going on overseas trips. Mgidlana has seven days to explain why he should not be suspended until the finalisation of the process. He’s denied the charges and has been on special leave since June.