Glossary

Advisory award – it is a non-binding recommendation often made by a commissioner or a Judge to assist the parties in the dispute to interpret or apply a workplace principle or legal question correctly.

Agency Shop – a collective agreement signed by an employer and representative trade union where the employer can deduct a fee, known as an agency fees from the wages/salaries of employees identified in the agreement that are not members of the trade union but are eligible for membership to contribute to the costs of the trade union. 

Arbitration – a dispute resolution procedure where an impartial third party listens to the case put forward by the parties, determines the matter and once the matter is determined, the dispute is resolved; usually the arbitrator’s finding is final and binding.

Bargain – it is when two opposing parties being in a position of equal status places demands on the negotiation table, and the other party responds by making counter-demands, here the parties make proposals, compromises, and negotiate and by doing this they try to place pressure on each other to give in to their demand. Bargaining has fails if either of the parties declares a dispute.

Bargaining Unit – ring-fenced group of employees, recognised by the employer, and identified in a recognition agreement, on whose behalf the trade union as the collective bargaining agent negotiates collectively.

Branch Representative – an employee elected by members in terms of the Union’s Constitution and theRecognition Agreement to perform the duties set out in the Constitution or Agreement.

Caucus – in collective bargaining, when either party requests a break from the at-the-table negotiations with the other party, for the purposes of discussing matters on the negotiated subject matter without the other party’s bargaining team being present. 

Capacitythe ability to do; level of experience; ability to understand something.

CCMA – the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, a dispute resolution form established in terms of Section 112 of the Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995.

Check-off Facilities – aa provision, generally found in the collective bargaining agreement or recognition agreement, that allows union fees to be deducted from the pay of union members, usually on a monthly basis.  The employer then transfers the payments to the union on a scheduled basis.

Closed-Shop Agreement – a collective agreement requiring all employees covered by the Agreement to be or become members of a specified trade union, which becomes a condition of service. The Labour Relations Act prohibits pre-entry closed shopswhere an employeehas to be a union member before he or she can enter into the service ofan employer or engaging a relevant employee unless he is already a member of that union.  A post-entry agreementrequires employees to join a specified union within a certain time after the employee’s employment commences.

Collective Agreement – a written agreement concerning terms and conditions of employment or any other matter of mutual interest concluded by Sasbo and an employer.

Collective Bargaining – is a process whereby employers bargain with employee representatives about terms and conditions of employment or other matters of mutual interest, e.g., wages, hours of work, etc, collective bargaining is successful if an employer and the employee representative (trade union) meet at reasonable times, confer and negotiate in good faith, and conclude a written agreement.

Collective Bargaining Agreement – a document containing the outcome of negotiations between the parties; it is a written instrument setting forth the terms and conditions of employment, grievance resolution procedures, and any other conditions resulting from collective bargaining.  The terms of a collective bargaining agreement must be reduced to writing and those terms may not be changed unilaterally by either party.

Communism – a theory or system of social organization in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs.

Conciliation – it is process where a conciliator is appointed to help the parties to a dispute to reach a settlement, and this can by done by any consensus-building process, including mediation, by fact finding or by making recommendations, including an advisory award. It is also an alternative out-of-court dispute resolution. It’s a voluntary, flexible, confidential process. The parties seek to reach an amicable dispute settlement with the assistance of the conciliator, who acts as a neutral third party. The conciliator will be asked by the parties to provide them with a non-binding settlement proposal.

Condonation – means that the Employee is seeking the permission of the CCMA for the late referral of their dispute. The employee must complete an Application supported by an affidavit stating the reasons why their referral is late. The employee must therefore show good cause as to why condonation should be granted

ConArb process – Section 191(5A) makes provision for the Con-arb process, which is a speedier one-stop process of conciliation and arbitration for individual unfair labour practices and unfair dismissals. In effect, this process will allow for conciliation and arbitration to take place as a continuous process on the same day.

Congress a formal meeting or series of meetings between delegates those from labour unions or political parties to discuss important matters and take decisions concerning those unions.

Constituency – a branch, department or region which has a Union representative.

Constitution – a body of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which an organisation is governed.

Cost to Company – refers to the total employment cost that an organisation is spending on an employee, including salary, benefits, pension and medical insurance contributions.

Counterproposal – an offer made by either party in collective bargaining negotiations in response to a proposal by the other party. 

Deadlock – a situation involving two or more opposing parties, in which no progress can be made or no agreement can be reached.

Dispute – stalemate or deadlock in collective bargaining between management and labour representatives; a point at which either or both parties to negotiations determine that no further progress toward settlement can be made through direct negotiation.

Employee – a person who works for another person or organisation and is entitled to receive remuneration therefore or any other person who in any manner assists in carrying on or conducting the business of an employer.

Employment relationship stages – any employment relationship has 3 stages, the appointment, the relationship or middle and the end (can be terminated due to misconduct, incapacity, operational requirements, resignation, retirement or even death). The unfair conduct by the employer appointment.

Faction a state of conflict within an organization where different groups of people are in support of different leaders or ideas that make them act divisively.

Government the group of people (party) in office at a particular time; administration; the governing body of a nation.

Ideology a system of ideas and ideals (perception of what is best suited), especially one that forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy.

Labour broker – is a form of outsourcing in which companies contract labour brokers to provide them with casual labour. Labour brokers handle almost all aspects of the worker’s employment (including interviews, recruitment, HR, admin, payroll, transport, etc. A labour broker is also defined as any natural person who conducts or carries on any business whereby such person for reward provides a client of such business with other persons to render a service or perform work for such client, or procures such other persons for the client, for which services or work such other persons are remunerated by such person.

Mandate – an official order or instruction to do something.

Marxism – the political, economic, and social theories of Karl Marx including the belief that the struggle between social classes is a major force in history and that there should eventually be a society in which there are no classes.

Mediation – a way of resolving disputes without going to court. It involves an independent third party – a mediator – who helps both sides come to an agreement. Mediation is a flexible process that can be used to settle disputes in a whole range of situations such as: consumer disputes, contract disputes, family disputes, neighbourhood disputes.

Minimum wage – the lowest wage or salary that employers may legally pay to workers. It can also be defined as the lowest hourly, daily or monthly wage that employers may legally pay workers.

Nationalisation the transfer of privately owned companies, industries, and resources to the government with or without compensation.

Privatisation – the transfer of ownership, property or business from the government (entity) to the private sector (company).

Proletariat – the working class, especially those who lack their own means of production and earn their living by selling their labour for employment. Working-class people regarded collectively (often used with reference to Marxism).

Protected strike action – refers to a lawful strike, which is in compliance with the requirements of the Labour Relations Act 1995 (“LRA”). This means that no employee may be dismissed by reason of their participation in the strike, nor do they commit a breach of their contracts of employment by participating in protected strike action.

Public Private Partnership (PPP) a medium to long-term contract between the public sector (government entity) and a private company to do business. This includes the design, financing, construction and maintenance, an infrastructure asset (e.g. public transport infrastructure).

Section 77 Notice – Section 77 refers to Section 77 of the Labour Relations Act, which speaks to protest action to promote or defend socio-economic interests of workers. The intention of this section is primarily to bring disputing parties together to engage on a matter in order to find resolution, and at the same time to try and prevent any protest action, which could negatively affect the economy. The Act has designated Nedlac, as the primary social dialogue forum in the country to be the platform to conduct these talks.

Shopsteward – an worker/employeeof a company elected by workers to represent and defend the interests of her/his fellow employees but is also a labour union official.

Socialism – a political and economic theory of social organization, which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.Direct control and management of industries, and social services by workers through a democratic government.A system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state.

The state – a nation or territory considered as an organized political community under one government.

Trade union  – an organisation made up of members who are mainly workers, formed to protect and further the rights and interests of the workers.

Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) a government created fund used to assist individuals and/or provide short term relief to people who have lost their jobs or are unable to work because of maternity leave, adoption leave, or illness.

Working class – a societal group consisting of people who are employed and paid wages or salaries, particularly in manual or industrial work.