STATUS OF AGREEMENTS
Dear Steel Industry employer
This is simply to remind you of the current status of the agreements within the jurisdiction of the MEIBC.
There is currently no extended Main Agreement applicable to NEASA members. The last extended agreement expired in 2011 and all subsequent extension, or attempts at extension, was either set aside on review or blocked by NEASA from even reaching the Minister of Employment and Labour, as the request itself was found to be invalid. There is, in our view, currently no prospect of a lawful request to extend the Main Agreement reaching the Minister of Employment and Labour without the support of NEASA.
ADMINISTRATION EXPENSES AGREEMENT
The last “new” Administration Expenses Agreement, that was extended to non-parties, expired in 2015 and all attempts since were either set aside or blocked. However, due to recent amendments to the Labour Relations Act, aimed specifically at limiting NEASA’s ability to prevent the extension of funding agreements, the Minister of Employment and Labour revived an old 2011 agreement and extended it to non-parties, as of 28 October 2019, for a period of 12 months. Therefore, as per our previous communication, members are again obligated to deduct and pay over administration levies as well as dispute levies at the 2011 rates. We have requested reasons for this decision from the Department of Employment and Labour in order to consider our options.
DISPUTE RESOLUTION AGREEMENT
The Dispute Resolution Agreement followed the same course as the Administration Expenses Agreement set out above. However, in July 2017, NEASA became a party to a new Dispute Resolution Agreement in order to provide members access to the Dispute Resolution Centre of the MEIBC. This new agreement required NEASA members to pay an increased dispute resolution levy. The extension of the old 2011 Administration Expenses Agreement has now superseded this new Dispute Resolution Agreement, effectively reducing the dispute levy to the 2011 rate.
SICK PAY FUND AGREEMENT
The Sick Pay Fund Agreement has been operative for an extended period of time and members remain obligated to make these contributions.
PENSION – AND PROVIDENT FUND AGREEMENTS
Both these agreements have been extended to non-parties and employers are compelled to make the contributions in terms of these agreements.
The current MEIBC “Main” Agreement, regulating terms and conditions in the Sector, which has not been extended to non-parties, expires in July 2020. We expect negotiations in respect of this agreement to commence during February 2020. NEASA will be requesting a mandate from members early in 2020 in order to prepare for these negotiations. As always, we will vigorously promote employer interests in these negotiations. Should these negotiations result in a business hostile agreement, between trade unions and other employers, we will again take up the fight to prevent such agreement from being extended to our members.
We will keep members abreast of any developments on any of the issues raised herein.
National Manager and Collective Bargaining Coordinator
Privileged and challenged to be South African.
We are all in this together.