The trade union parties to the PSCBC yesterday informed the Employer that they were withdrawing from PSCBC Resolution 2 of 2015 (the wage agreement) when the Employer again breached an agreement reached between parties.
After signing the above-mentioned agreement on 19 May 2015 for a cost-of-living adjustment of 7% for the 2015/16 financial year, Labour had to learn via the grapevine that the Employer was intending to implement only a 6,4% increase. Their claim is that they are recovering 0,6% overpaid to employees under PSCBC Resolution 1 of 2012. Apart from breaching the agreement on the 7%, the Employer did not have the decency to inform the unions that they were implementing only 6,4%.
Labour rejected the Employer's interpretation, contending that the provisions of the 2012 Resolution cannot impact on Resolution 2 of 2015. As a result Labour called a Special Council meeting on 1 June 2015 to address the Employer's unwarranted actions. In that meeting parties agreed to obtain a legal opinion on the divergent interpretations. It was furthermore agreed that the Employer would halt the intended implementation of the 6,4%, pending the outcome of the legal opinion.
To our dismay, the Employer, despite the agreement reached on 1 June 2015, is forging ahead with the implementation of the 6,4%, again not informing Labour that they were doing so. This constituted a second breach of an agreement reached between parties.
In view of the above, and to protect the interests and mandate of our members, Labour unanimously decided to withdraw from Resolution 2 of 2015 and to suspend their participation in all collective bargaining processes in the PSCBC and the sectoral bargaining councils until the dispute on the 7% has been resolved. Unions will now, in terms of their internal processes, re-evaluate their positions, including their demands.
In a media briefing today, Labour indicated that whilst they have withdrawn from Resolution 2 of 2015 they are open and available to discuss the matter with the Principals of the Employer and that the matter can be resolved if the Employer would implement the 7% that parties had agreed to.