Pretoria – The Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has dismissed an application by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) in relation to the payment of bonuses in 2015.
Nehawu had approached the CCMA to have Parliament’s review of employees’ performance scores in December 2015 declared as unfair labour practice.
The CCMA, however, on Monday said it is the “legislative duty of the Secretary to Parliament to ensure that the resources of [Parliament] are used efficiently”. Parliament had not achieved its overall targets, and found this irreconcilable with the performance achievements of 91% of its individual employees.
In the evidence before the CCMA, Parliament stated that the review of the performance scores was a fair measure and done in accordance with its policies, as a result of inconsistency between the performance of the institution — based on audited results by the Auditor General — and the individual scores of the employees. The CCMA’s ruling has now confirmed this position.
This finding goes directly against a position assumed by the local branch of Nehawu in its submission to the commission and in public statements the union had issued.
The CCMA found that Parliament had tried to make arrangements for employees and members of Nehawu, who were dissatisfied with the revised scores, to address the issue through the correct channels.
“Only a few objections were lodged… by dissatisfied members of Nehawu… This suggests a general acceptance by its employees of the manner in which Parliament had gone about the payment of bonuses and dealing with subsequent disputes,” said the CCMA.
The CCMA’s ruling also makes a finding in respect of issues that made it difficult for Parliament to conclude the matter timeously. It cited the illegal strike Nehawu had embarked on and other administrative issues such as union members not submitting the required documentation on time.
The CCMA said it was satisfied that Parliament had not acted with negligence or malice when it reduced the performance scores. It said Parliament acted fairly and in good faith in its engagement with employee issues.
Parliament said it hopes that this ruling will close the chapter of negative engagement and help solidify a commitment to work together.