Public Service Labour Relations: Centralised Collective Bargaining and Social dialogue in the Public Service of South Africa(1997 to 2007)
Clarke, Arthur Russel
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Through South African labour legislation, bargaining councils are empowered to conclude collective agreements between employers and trade unions. While bargaining councils were created for virtually every sector within the South African private sector, only one bargaining council exists for the public sector. This public sector bargaining council is known as the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC). The PCSBC subsequently established four sectoral councils to further collectively bargain on matters pertaining to sectoral issues relevant to the sector it represents. However, the PSCBC remains the apex of these four public service sectoral bargaining councils. This thesis focuses on how the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) contributes to social dialogue within South African public service. This thesis seeks to fill a significant literature gap on collective bargaining as accomplished by the PSCBC. The thesis briefly examines the history of collective bargaining in the South African public service. The research methodology utilised includes information gleaned from annual reports published by the PSCBC. Interviews of selected stakeholders such as government officials and labour organisations involved in the PSCBC were conducted. The PSCBC objectives are identified and analysed against the performance of the PSCBC for the period 1997 to 2007. The relevant PSCBC role players are identified. The power realities between these role players are reflected. The criteria for remaining a party to these PSCBC will be explained. The thesis holds that historically an adversarial relationship existed between the state as employer and the recognised trade unions. The establishment of the PSCBC created the opportunity for the historical adversaries between an employer and trade union to be converted into social dialogue interactions, which are commonly believed to be a better approach in resolving their differences.
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