Main Agreement Negotiations set to continue on 10 April 2019

South African Engineers’ and Founders’ Association

29 March 2019

We had previously updated members that the Labour Court had found that the attempt to extend the Admin Agreement was unlawful and had been set aside.  We further informed members that SEIFSA and the trade unions had attempted to extend the Main Agreement in the same way.  The Court’s reasoning is clear and unequivocal, and this resulted in the trade unions finally accepting that they had to return to the negotiating table – something which we had been telling them to do since August 2017.  Unfortunately, the trade unions responded by rejecting SAEFA’s proposals for a new entrant wage rate and for increases to be given on minimums (amongst other proposals) and so SAEFA declared a dispute against the trade unions.

In terms of the MEIBC Constitution, the dispute necessitated a convening of a Special Management Committee (Manco) meeting within 14 days.  The Manco met on Tuesday, 26 March in order to decide how the dispute must be resolved, by choosing one of four options:

Appoint a sub-committee to meet within a specified number of days, for the purposes of attempting to resolve the dispute or to recommend to the parties a process by which the dispute can be resolved;

  1. Referring the dispute to conciliation;
  1. Referring the dispute to arbitration;
  1. Instructing the Secretary to issue a certificate stating that the dispute remains unresolved.

SAEFA’s view was that option 1 above be chosen to resolve the dispute, which was accepted by the trade union parties.  A further negotiating meeting has been scheduled for 10 April 2019.  Whilst we welcome this development, we expect that the parties to the employer-hostile 2017 – 2020 Settlement Agreement will continue to conspire to try and find ways to extend that agreement on the industry, even though it is now abundantly clear that they cannot legally do so.

SAEFA will keep members informed of developments.

Members are welcome to contact Gordon on 083 412 1437 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

If you are not already part of the SAEFA Member WhatsApp Group, please WhatsApp your cell phone number to 082 412 1437 so that you can be added to the Group.

Members are reminded to book their seat at the David Ansara Breakfast Talk to be held on 10 April 2019, 07:30 at the Reading Country Club. The CRA uses deep-dive data analysis and first hand political and policy information to advise on the likely long term economic, social, and political evolution of the country. David will discuss the likely outcome of the May 2019 general election as well as the various political and economic trends that will shape the decade ahead.

To book please click on the link below: