Commission for Conciliation

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Labour

02 October 2000
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Meeting report

LABOUR PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
3 October 2000
COMMISSION FOR CONCILIATION, MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION: ANNUAL REPORT

Documents handed out:
CCMA: Briefing Document [see Appendix 1]

Acting Chairperson: Ms T Lishivha

SUMMARY
The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration briefed the committee on matters relating to its strategic objectives as well as an overview of its operations past and present. In addition they wished to inform the committee of their plans for the future and the measures that they would use to implement these plans. Committee members raised concerns over perceived problems in the CCMA such as case backlogs, public complaint about CCMA staff and issues raised by the audit report of the Auditor General. Representatives were quick to put members at ease that measures had been put in place to deal with these problems.

MINUTES
Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA)
Mr Vincent Mthambo the Chairperson of the governing body of the CCMA, commented that it is the first time that their organisation is addressing a portfolio committee.
He stated that the CCMA had to face many challenges over the years and added that hopefully the amendments that had been proposed recently to the Labour Relations Act would alleviate their workload substantially.

The National Director of the CCMA, Ms Thandi Orleyn made the presentation. For detail on the issues highlighted below, refer to the attached presentation document.

Strategic objectives
Ms Orleyn emphasised certain areas that would be of strategic focus to them for the period 2000-2002 as follows:
· Dispute resolution
· Dispute Prevention/Management
· Service Excellence
· Institution Building
· Partnership and networking

Challenges, achievements and goals
Ms Orleyn gave an overview of some of the challenges that they had encountered in the three years since their inception as well as their achievements. She then outlined the goals they had set for themselves in order to meet the demands of the future.

Ms Orleyn divided her discussion into 3 stages:
· Stage 1 - 1996 - Setting up
· Stage 2 - 1997 to 1999 - Consolidation of Dispute Resolution Services
· Stage 3 - 2000 to 2002 - Institution Building, Partnerships and Networking

Overview of their operations
An overview of their operations was given by making year-by-year comparisons (1998/1999 and1999/2000) as well as providing a forecast for the period 2000-2001.

Dispute referrals
These were broken down into the following categories:
(i) General number of dispute referrals
(ii) Dispute referrals by sector
(iii) Dispute referrals by issue
(iv) Dispute referrals by Act
(v) Dispute referrals by region/province

Ms Orleyn stated that they were able to screen out 11% of the total amount of cases that were referred to them for the period 1999-2000. She stated that they wish to increase this figure to 22% in the period 2000-2001. However to achieve this people need to be better informed of the cases that can and cannot be referred to them.

Conciliations
This issue was discussed under the following headings:
(i) Number of Conciliations conducted
(ii) Conciliation settlement rate
(iii) Conciliations not settled in 30 days

Arbitrations
She provided the annual comparative figures for the number of arbitrations conducted as well as the figures of those not scheduled within 90 days.

Human Resources and Budget
Ms Orleyn outlined their resources under the following headings:
· Total complement of employees by race and gender.
· National directorate by race and gender
· Commissioners by race and gender
· Yearly comparison between Budget and Expenditure

In conclusion Ms Orleyn informed the committee of some of the opportunities and challenges which they foresee for the period 2000-2002.

Discussion
Mr Heine (DP) noted that an annual report of the CCMA by the Auditor-General showed that it had assets to the value of R14 million. He stated that this figure is far too high. He also added that the report reflects that there is a lack of control over the finances of the CCMA. Mr Heine said that mention was made that CCMA employees do not have employment contracts and that many of their CVs and qualifications have not been verified. He further pointed out, that figures in the report show that income and expenditure at March 1999 were at R108 million and R120 million respectively. This means that there is a shortfall of R12 million. He asked the CCMA representatives to respond to these issues.

Mr Mthambo stated that he did not wish to make excuses for matters that the Auditor General found lacking. Ms Orleyn stated that at the time the audit was done, it was already halfway through the following financial year when systems were in place. She emphasised that the CCMA was set up in a very short period of time and no policy or procedures had been in place in the early stages - however these are now in place. She also wished to point out that the audit was not a comprehensive audit but a snapshot audit.

A representative from the Department of Finance pointed out that an asset register was only set up some time after the formation of the CCMA and that the R14 million figure was therefore merely an estimate. He also added that they are trying to improve the asset management system of the CCMA. Ms Orleyn stressed that the deficit is really a paper (estimated) deficit rather than a real deficit.

Mr Ndou (ANC) believed that having a government body in place to ensure proper management of the CCMA, would remedy the situation. He also felt that the Department of Labour must step in to try to solve these problems.

Mr Mthambo stressed the need to find people to run these systems efficiently. He stated that unfortunately many of their senior finance people had to be dismissed but they have appointed new people so hopefully the situation would be rectified.

Mr Middleton (IFP) asked what was being done about the backlog of cases.

A representative of the CCMA pointed out that the figures referred to by the committee member were the figures as at April of this year. However the situation at present is different and there is no real backlog. He felt that the CCMA is operating correctly at present.

Mr Rasmeni (ANC) asked what system of screening is currently being used and whether it is effective. Does it not compromise vulnerable groups? What is the situation regarding domestic workers? Further what was being done about complaints regarding CCMA staff members. Mr Rasmeni asked if staff members are hired on a contractual basis. He also asked if they have casual workers.

Mr Mthambo replied that the screening process has two phases. Firstly the person at the front desk would look at the facts to see if the CCMA has jurisdiction. If the case is one for the CCMA it is referred to the commissioner on duty. Most cases involving domestic workers are settled at the front desk simply by discussing the dispute with the employer over the telephone. Ms Orleyn added that the issues surrounding domestic workers are difficult, as the industry is not regulated.

Mr Mthambo continued that they have set up processes to deal with the public's complaints about certain CCMA staff members. By the end of October they would know how these complaints have been dealt with. They do have people on contract but that these contracts would be reviewed in November. Ms Orleyn added that they do not have casual workers but they do on occasion hire temporary staff.

The meeting was adjourned.

 

Appendix 1:
COMMISSION FOR CONCILIATION, MEDIATION & ARBITRATION
NOVEMBER 1996 TO MARCH 2002

Vision
To promote social justice and economic growth with the social partners by transforming relations in the labour market. This will be achieved by delivering high quality, low cost, dispute resolution and prevention services.

Mission
For ourselves we hold dear professionalism, integrity and service, and the value of sharing trustworthy relationships. For the CCMA, we hold ourselves accountable for sustaining our vibrant diverse community, united by a thirst for learning and strengthened by self-discipline. For the public we hold fast to our commitment to transforming labour relations by resolving disputes fairly and sharing our knowledge widely. For Africa we hold high the ideals of equity, social justice and shared prosperity.

Strategic Focus 2000 -2002
Dispute Resolution
Dispute Prevention / management
Service Excellence
Institution Building
Partnership and networking

Dispute Resolution
Efficiencies:
Screening
Conciliations
Arbitrations
Quality
Review management
Realignment of resources

Dispute Prevention / Management
Realignment of resources
Focus on high referring sectors
Training and public awareness

Service Excellence
Productivity
Cost effective service
Customer satisfaction

Institution Building, Partnerships & Networking
Shared learnings and resources
Private and public sector bargaining councils
Private agencies
SADC

Overview of past 3 years
Stage 1 - 1996 - Setting up
Stage 2 - 1997 to 1999 - Consolidation of Dispute Resolution Services
Stage 3 - 2000 to 2002 - Institution Building, Partnerships and Networking

Stage 1: Achievements
Set up in 9 months
10 offices procured, furnished & equipped
400 full time & 200 part time employees recruited & trained
National networked infrastructure & systems in place

Stage 1: Challenges
Test systems and commissioners under operational conditions
Give effect to new legislation
Meet the needs and demands of the labour market
To deliver a service to match the high expectations of new government and social partners

Stage 2: Achievements
Providing accessible, cost effective & speedy service delivery
Developing a world class case management system
Developing commissioner expertise & diffusing those skills back into the labour market
PSCBC
Private Sector Bargaining Council Accreditations
Essential Services

Stage 2: Challenges
Effective service delivery
Budget reduction in current financial year
Relationship with Labour Court
Employment Equity Act
LRA and other statutes
Dispute prevention
Demands on the labour relations community

Stage 2: Learnings
Bedding down a new institution took longer than anticipated
Dealing with old perceptions (conciliation vs arbitration)
Experience in dealing with enormous caseload
Statistical information - identifying types of disputes and sectors

Stage 3: Strategic Focus & Goals
Enhancing the dispute resolution service:
Quantity and quality
Screening referrals at entry point
Commissioner skills enhanced for conciliations
Arbitrations - incorporate Labour Court judgements & development of skills
Participation in LRA amendments
Building institutions through partnerships & networking
Dispute prevention & management
Partnerships & networking
Institution building
Specialised pool of expertise - commissioners

Stage 3: Demands
Developing customised data driven profiles
Development of best practice workplace policies & procedures
Workshops & user training
Screen out frivolous & vexatious cases
Enhanced internet based communication & information infrastructures

Operations Overview
Dispute Resolution Total Workload - 112858 cases; 92063 processes
Case Carry Over as at March 2000 15390
New Referrals 97468
Screening 20796
Conciliations 65053
Arbitrations 27010


Dispute Referrals
1998 / 1999 - 86182
1999 / 2000 - 88708
2000 / 2001 - 97468
Daily Average = 393
Actual Cases 2000/2001 to 31/8/00 = 40483; Projected Cases -1/9/00 to 31/03/01 = 56986

Dispute Referral by Sector

 

Retail

Private Security

Domestic

Food & Beverages

Business Services

Building/Construction

1998/1999

21%

9%

7%

5%

6%

6%

1999/2000

21%

9%

8%

6%

5%

5%

2000/2001

20%

9%

7%

4%

3%

7%


Dispute Referral by Issue

 

Dismissal

Unfair Labour Practice

Mutual Interest

Collective Bargaining

Severance Pay

1998/1999

77%

11%

4%

2%

3%

1999/2000

80%

9%

6%

3%

2%

2000/2001

77%

9%

5%

3%

2%


Dispute Referral by Act

 

BCEA

EEA

LRA

1998/1999

0.01%

0.00%

99.99%

1999/2000

1.66%

0.33%

98.01%

2000/2001

2.55%

0.88%

95.56%


Dispute Referral by Region

 

1998/1999

1999/2000

2000/2001

Gauteng

37%

37%

38%

Kwazulu Natal

18%

18%

19%

Western Cape

12%

12%

12%

Eastern Cape

7%

7%

6%

Mpumalanga

7%

6%

5%

North West

6%

7%

7%

Free State

6%

6%

6%

Northern Province

5%

5%

5%

Northern Cape

2%

2%

2%

 


Jurisdictional Screening

 

In

Out

1999/2000

89%

11%

2000/2001

78%

22%

 


Conciliations Conducted
[Graph not included]

Conciliation Settlement Rate

1998/1999

1999/2000

2000/2001

56%

66%

76%

 


Conciliations not scheduled in 30 days

1998/1999

1999/2000

2000/2001

2%

1%

0.90%

 


Arbitrations Conducted

1998/1999

1999/2000

2000/2001

14937

28549

27010

 


Arbitrations not scheduled in 90 days

1999/2000

2000/2001

21%

19.8%

 


Resources

- Total compliment by race and gender
- National directorate by race and gender
- Commissioners by race and gender
- Budget

Employee Profile - Race

Previously Disadvantaged

White

85%

15%

 


Employee Profile - Gender

Male

Female

41%

59%

 


National Directorate - Race

Previously Disadvantaged

White

71%

29%

 


National Directorate - Gender

Male

Female

79%

21%

 


Commissioner - Race

Previously Disadvantaged

White

76%

24%

 


Commissioner - Gender

Male

Female

68%

32%

 


Budget, Expenditure to Work Conducted

 

1998/1999

1999/2000

2000/2001

Budget

R125

R128

R125

Expenditure

R120

R136

R53

Cases

66275 cases

67004 cases

85849 cases

 


Opportunities
- Proposed legislative amendments to streamline CCMA operations
- To effectively impact on the labour market through partnerships and networking by our experienced commissioners
- To infuse learnings in the SADC region

Challenges - 2000 to 2002
- Enhancing skills to meet the implementation demands of the full spectrum of relevant legislation
- To develop specialised expertise
- Securing sufficient funding
- Maintaining the momentum to provide the quantity and quality demanded from the institution
- To develop a comprehensive information repository and defuse it broadly to empower the labour market



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