Usually, in this article segment, Consolidated Employers Organisation (CEO) would post an article on a pressing or current issue in the employment law arena or some recent development in case law or the like. While the updates or legal guidance provided and expressed in these pieces are invaluable to our Members, insight should be given as to the full extent of the value that CEO provides its Members. Far too often, an Employers’ Organisation is associated with providing representation at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) or similar forums, and that’s the extent and breadth of the monthly membership fee paid to that Employers’ Organisation. 

The purpose of this article, however, is to briefly explore the full scale and value of belonging to an Employers’ Organisation like CEO and the unique role that the Employer plays in ensuring that CEO is indeed the voice of Employers across South Africa.

Firstly, most Employers are only aware of the representation provided by our CEO Dispute Resolution Officials at the CCMA or similar forums. While this may be the bulk of the service that CEO provides to its Members, the reality is that CEO is engaged in so many other aspects of the labour relations arena. For instance, CEO is a party to five (5) different Bargaining Councils, thereby ensuring that Members that fall within the scope of the various industries, such as the National Bargaining Council for Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI), the Metals and Engineering Industry Bargaining Council (MEIBC), and the National Bargaining Council for the Private Security Sector (NBCPSS), to mention a few – have their unique, industry-specific needs and interests protected. This is done through national-level negotiating and bargaining as well as interaction at the various levels of each Bargaining Council through the input and mandates given by our Members.

In addition, when it comes to issues of national importance, such as the recent National Minimum Wage (NMW) adjustment, CEO is instrumental in doing market research, obtaining Member input, and delivering comprehensive commentary to those departments associated with the Department of Employment and Labour (DOEL) which sought such commentary. A very relevant example of where CEO is engaging with a contentious topic about our Members’ interests pertains to the draft proposal on Employment Equity Targets. To this end, CEO has once again called on all Members for their input and commentary on the topic so that we understand and get a full appreciation of where our Members stand on the topic and can deliver same to the DOEL to ensure that our Members’ voices are heard.

Not only does CEO seek to protect Member interests on the national level on topics such as the above, CEO also seeks to empower our Members with knowledge relating to aspects such as the Main Collective Agreements and their operations in specific industries and CCMA processes and procedures, for example. Most notably CEO’s Training Division has recently done such training relating to the new Private Security industry Main Collective Agreement. CEO has also recently sent out invites pertaining to the upcoming training on CCMA processes and procedures. This is only the beginning of a series of training sessions that will be provided to our Members to empower them within their workspace. 

The wealth and accumulation of knowledge in the area of labour relations is immense within an organisation like CEO. Members only need to look out for the weekly articles, newsflashes and case law updates provided through email or social media to find pertinent information that may impact their business and its operations.

As CEO is made up of its Members, it is only through our Members that CEO can continue to grow and be the progressive organisation that we are so proud of being. Members are strongly encouraged to participate in commentary on specific subjects, for instance, the recently proposed Employment Equity (EE) targets, to participate in the training initiatives on offer and to interact with the organisation regarding their vital role in the various industries where Bargaining Councils exist. 

Article by Daniel van der Merwe
National Collective Bargaining Coordinator at Consolidated Employers Organisation (CEO SA)