Prior to the commencement of the arbitration, the parties held a pre-arbitration conference in order to agree on the facts and determine the terms of reference and powers of the arbitrator.
During the pre-arbitration discussions, an opportunity emerged for the two trade unions to consolidate their approaches and present a joint position to the arbitrator. This would require IMATU to make a slight amendment to its position namely that the additional 0,5% for low income earners (earning less than R9 000.00) be implemented with effect from 1 October 2018, instead of 1 January 2019 as contained in the facilitator’s proposal.
It was therefore decided to present such a joint trade union position to the arbitrator.
The parties to the dispute also agreed to limit the powers of the arbitrator. The arbitrator may choose only one of the following two positions:
• SALGA’s position: That the facilitator’s proposal be implemented as it currently stands; or
• Trade Unions’ position: That the facilitator’s proposal be implemented, provided that the additional 0.5% salary increase for low income earners take effect on 1 October 2018.
This effectively means that the arbitrator cannot award anything less than the facilitator’s proposal.
IMATU requested the arbitrator to deliver an award on an expedited basis, due to the urgency of the matter. The arbitrator indicated that he will endeavour to issue his award by no later than 31 July 2018.
Members will be updated once the arbitration award has been received.