The conciliation process aimed at resolving the impasse between employers and NUMSA at this year’s wage and substantive negotiations, under the auspices of MIBCO, continued on 18 November 2019.
During a previous session of conciliation on 11 October 2019, the RMI and the other employer parties tabled a revised wage offer, the details of which were reported on at the time. NUMSA was requested then, as they were at the last session on 23 October 2019, to respond to this revised offer of the employer parties, however it has refused to do so and has insisted that it would settle for nothing less than the terms of the 2016 wage agreement, as well as substantial changes to short time provisions, the introduction of night shift and travel allowance, and an incease in overtime rates.
We are pleased to advise that NUMSA has finally departed from its position on non-wage demands and has relinquished these demands. The parties are now considering wage adjustments ONLY.
NUMSA has requested the RMI and other employer parties to provide them with a week’s grace to test a possible settlement area with their membership and as a consequence, conciliation has been re-scheduled for 4 December 2019 (due to the availability of all parties) when hopefully, an agreement will be brokered.
As mentioned before, industrial action will always remain a hypothetical possibility, however the RMI remains confident that the on-going negotiation process will produce a wage agreement between the RMI and the other employer parties on the one hand, and NUMSA on the other.
The RMI will continue to keep its valued members updated on developments, and would caution against distress about the slow pace of progress. We remain buoyant about the likelihood of a settlement between the parties in due course.
The RMI will advise its members of the way forward (i.e. in regard to whether bonusses are payable in December, continued payment of MIBCO levies, etc), beyond 4 December 2019, should no agreement be reached on this date, as we appreciate the need for guidance in this respect, by members.