The conciliation process in the dispute over wage negotiations, scheduled for 19 May 2011 has been postponed until 1 June 2011. The postponement was ordered by the Conciliator, Prof A Rycroft following SALGA’s request for additional time to secure proper legal representation. The Conciliator granted SALGA’s request, stating that he wanted both the trade unions and SALGA to be legally represented given the magnitude and complexity of the points in limine raised by SALGA.
SALGA raised a technical point claiming that the trade unions do not have the right to re-open wage negotiations. According to SALGA’s interpretation of the escape clause, the average CPI for the period 01 February 2009 to 31 January 2011 must be calculated in order to determine whether the CPI has fallen below 5%. According the SALGA’s calculations, the average CPI for this period is 5.53% and therefore the escape clause cannot be invoked. It was pointed out by the Conciliator that SALGA ought to have foreseen the necessity for legal representation seeing as the points in limine were in fact raised by SALGA. The Conciliator nevertheless indicated that he wanted all sides to be equally represented as it would ensure that the viewpoints of all the parties would be properly ventilated.
The Conciliator however made it clear that the matter will definitely proceed on 1 June 2011, and that no further postponements would be allowed.