LAC judgment a threat to collective bargaining – NEHAWU

Employers will now have a case to refer to when they want to renege on implementing binding agreements

NEHAWU notes the Labour Appeals Court ruling on the implementation of salary increases for public servants

15 December 2020

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) notes the ruling of the Labour Appeals Court (LAC) on the implementation of salary increases for public servants by government.

The court declared the enforcement of clause 3.3 (which specifically speaks to salary increases) of Resolution 1 of 2018 unlawful for contravention of Sub-Section 213 and 215 of the Constitution of the Republic South Africa, 1996 and Regulations including 78 and 79 of the Public Service Regulations of 2016.

As NEHAWU, we believe that this judgement is a threat to collective bargaining in this country. If left unchallenged, it will set a bad precedence for all workers in the country regardless of their sector. Many employers will have a case to refer to when they elect to renege on implementing binding collective bargaining agreements. This will give employers a space and freedom to undermine collective bargaining processes and reduce workers to a life of poverty.

The judgement by the court should unite all workers across the country to fight against the reversal of their gains and their right to bargain. The collective bargaining currently enjoyed in the country did not come on a silver platter, it took the blood and sweat of workers. In this regard, we call on all our members and workers across all sectors to get ready for a mother of all wars against our government and all other employers who are hell-bent on paying workers peanuts.

Our Central Executive Committee (CEC) which was convened on the 7th and the 8th December 2020 announced that the legal route was one of many avenues that we are exploring to push government to pay the salary increases of our members and workers. We will be undertaking rolling mass actions in the New Year starting with the marches to parliament and the Union Buildings on the day of the presentation of the budget speech in February 2021.

We are currently reading the judgement and will consult our legal team on a suitable legal recourse which must include petitioning the Constitutional Court. This is not the end of the fight but the beginning. Government must think twice if they think that we will take this lying down.

Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat

Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 082 455 2500 or email: [email protected] Visit NEHAWU website: www.nehawu.org.za