22nd June 2018 marked a new era in the South African labour relations industry with the registration of the National Bargaining Council for the Private Security Sector (NBCPSS). This came about after months of discussions; negotiations and the formal application being brought to the registrar of labour relations’ attention. This is in terms of Section 29 of the Labour Relations Act, 1995. This was published in the government gazette on the 06th of July 2018
Before taking a look at the effect this bargaining council’s establishment will have on the relevant parties, one must first understand what a bargaining council is. Bargaining councils deal with collective agreements, solve labour disputes, establish various schemes and comment on labour policies and laws. Any bargaining council may also decide to merge or amalgamate with one or more other bargaining councils. After registering the new council, the registrar cancels each of the separate bargaining councils’ registration. These specific powers and functions are listed in terms of Section 29 of the Labour Relations Act, 1995.
“Private Security Sector” or “sector” has been defined as the sector in which the employers and employees are associated for the purpose of guarding or protecting fixed property, premises, goods, persons or employees. This includes monitoring and responding to alarms at premises which are guarded by persons or by electronic means but excluding the assets in transit to the extent that it falls under the registered scope of the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry.
The Director of the CCMA (Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration) Mr Sello Morajane welcomed the establishment of this bargaining council, he further indicated that the security sector has the second highest rate of disputes referred to the CCMA and are only surpassed by the retail industry. This will thereof assist in alleviating the constraints upon the CCMA once the bargaining council is fully in operation, as security industry disputes will thereafter be expected to be referred to the National Bargaining Council for the Private Security Sector and not the CCMA. However, the NBCPSS is still to obtain its accreditation from the CCMA to adjudicate its own disputes. Currently, the CCMA still conducts this function for the industry.
Like Sectoral Determinations, bargaining councils were established by the legislator to protect industry vulnerable employees relating to working conditions, benefits and wages. On the other hand, it also creates a fair and level ground for employers where all employers are obligated to pay the same rates of pay and provide the same benefits.
Whilst the NBCPSS is constituting itself into a functioning bargaining council, it is important to note the Sectoral Determination 6: Private Security Sector, is still in effect, up and until such time that the NBCPSS gazettes its own collective agreements relating to wages, working conditions and benefits.
CEO (Consolidated Employers’ Organisation) is currently in the process of becoming a party to the NBCPSS which will allow us on a centralised bargaining level to participate, nationally negotiate wages, working conditions and benefits on behalf of our members engaged in the private security.
Article by: Preshalia Pandaram
Dispute Resolution Official – Pretoria