The SALGBC issued a circular yesterday, endorsed by IMATU, SAMWU and SALGA, to all municipalities to address the issue of unrecognised minority trade unions seeking organisational rights at municipal level.
This comes as unrecognised trade unions have increasingly been using the constitutional court judgement in POPCRU v South African Correctional Services Workers’ Union and Others to convince municipalities to enter into recognition agreements for organisational rights with them.
The key aspects of the circular are the following:
- The threshold for recognition in the sector is a membership of 15% of all employees under the scope of the SALGBC. This is a national threshold.
- A trade union can only conclude agreements for organisational rights if it meets that 15% threshold.
- The only recognised trade unions in the sector are IMATU and SAMWU.
- Municipalities should not enter into recognition agreements with any unrecognised minority trade union.
- The recent Constitutional Court judgement in POPCRU v South African Correctional Services Workers’ Union and Others, does not create an obligation on any Municipality to enter into recognition agreements with unrecognised minority trade unions.
- If an unrecognised minority trade union seeks statutory organisational rights, it should refer a dispute in terms of section 21(c) of the LRA.
- The SALGBC parties (SALGA, IMATU and SAMWU) oppose the proliferation of multiple trade unions in the sector.
- Municipalities, as members of SALGA, should minimise and oppose the proliferation of multiple trade unions in the sector.
- The potential danger of entering into recognition agreements with unrecognised minority trade unions was illustrated in the case of Buffalo City Municipality.
- Municipal employees are reminded that unrecognised minority trade unions such as MATUSA and DEMAWUSA cannot bargain collectively for them. Collective agreements can only be negotiated and entered into with IMATU and SAMWU.
- Employees who join unrecognised minority trade unions are still be liable to pay Agency Shop fees as well as the subscription fees to their union. The court has recently confirmed that the
- Agency Shop collectively agreement is binding on all municipalities and employees who are not members of IMATU and SAMWU.
SALGBC Circular 9/2018 can be viewed here