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The Way Forward With Salary Negotiations Following The CoA Judgement

CORRESPONDENT
BOFEPUSU
The Court of Appeal (CoA) made a fundamental finding that an Acting Jointly Arrangement (AJA) is constituted provided any one of the unions wishing to enter into an AJA meets the threshold. In the current arrangement the threshold which one third (1/3) of the total unionised public service is (28,000.

The CoA further noted that the NALCGPWU, otherwise known as the Manual Workers Union, did meet the threshold of admittance into the PSBC during the past immediate verification process and as such the BOFEPUSU AJA which it, (NALCGPWU), is a constituent member, is the legitimate trade union party admitted into the PSBC.  The CoA however ordered that there be a fresh verification of the BOFEPUSU AJA in accordance with article 7.3 of the PSBC constitution using membership figures as at the date of the order to establish whether it (the BOFEPUSU AJA) still meets the threshold in that one of its constituent unions has a membership exceeding the one third of all unionised public officers.  The CoA further ordered that the same verification exercise shall determine whether BOPEU meets the threshold as per Article 6 of the PSBC Constitution, and if it does, it shall be admitted and recognised as a member of the PSBC  

It has to be noted that the CoA established that the BOFEPUSU AJA is an legitimate admitted and recognised Trade Union party to the PSBC hence its order that it (the BOFEPUSU AJA) be subjected a fresh verification process in accordance with Article 7.2 of the PSBC constitution which reads as thus “Any changes to an AJA as provided for under Article 7.1 and/or 7.2 shall be communicated to the General Secretary, within 30 days from the date of such a change, who shall determine whether or not the trade union still complies with the threshold requirements.

The CoA however determined that BOPEU is currently not a member of the PSBC hence its order that BOPEU should, if it so wishes, apply for membership of the PSBC in accordance with provisions of Article 6 of the Council’s constitution that stipulates the requirements for a fresh application, and that its application be dealt with by the Secretariat of the PSBC at the same time when it checks whether the BOFEPUSU AJA still has the requisite threshold.The CoA concluded by ordering that if BOPEU does not submit its application and/or does not qualify for admission, then the 2016/17 wage negotiations shall resume with the BOFEPUSU AJA as the sole admitted trade union party to the PSBC.

The BOFEPUSU AJA

Submits Membership Numbers

And Lists In Compliance With The Court Of Appeal Judgment

Consequent to the CoA judgement on this matter, the BOFEPUSU AJA has on June 20, 2016 submitted its constituents union membership numbers and lists to the Secretariat of

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the PSBC for each constituent union to be verified in accordance with Article 7.3 of the PSBC constitution with a view of finding out whether any of the constituent unions of the AJA still meets the threshold as at the date of the issuance of the order of court (July 17, 2016). We were however surprised that the Secretariat of the PSBC returned the diskettes containing the lists and numbers of the membership of the constituent unions of the BOFEPUSU AJA under the pretext that they are still carrying out their “internal processes that would facilitate the effective implementation of the court order”.

 

Psbc Secretariat Finally Responds By Inviting Unions To Submit Membership Figures For Verification

At long last, the Secretariat of the PSBC wrote to the recognised unions individually inviting them to submit their membership figures on July 4, 2016. This was on the third week after the delivery of the CoA Judgement.

As if that is not enough, the PSBC Secretariat has indicated that unions should have submitted their membership numbers not later than July 22, 2016 that effectively means the verification would only resume after July 22.

This in our view has been too sluggish on the part of the PSBC Secretariat bearing in mind that the case was heard under a certificate of urgency due to the pending 2015/16 salary negotiations. Our view is that the sluggish approach to this matter serves to frustrate the anticipated continuation of the 2015/16 salary negotiations.

We note with the greatest of worries that it is now a month after the CoA has handed down its judgment on this matter and the PSBC Secretariat is yet to commence the verification process as per Court Order. Our worry is precipitated by the fact that such a delay has an adverse effect on our members, as the 2016/17 salary negotiations remain halted.

We are confident that after the verification process, the BOFEPUSU AJA would remain as the admitted and recognised trade union party in the PSBC and would continue with the 2015/16-salary negotiation. 

This is so because the Manual Workers Union has the requisite numbers to allow the BOFEPUSU AJA to continue being a member of the PSBC. The CoA judgement has given a lifeline to 2015/16 wage negotiations and we are confident that the BOFEPUSU AJA will go through these formalities and would negotiate and conclude a decent increment and improvement of conditions of service for members of its constituents unions very soon.



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