Dispute Resolution in the Public Service - PSCBC

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					Dispute Resolution in the
  Public Service – past
achievements and future
       innovation


           Dawie Bosch
  14 February 2005, PSCBC Conference 2005
              Overview
Highlight key       Taken some liberty to
                    presume to pronounce on
achievements        a possible vision of the
Raise issues for    future for dispute
possible future     resolution in the public
                    service.
development         Focus of paper: on the
Working towards a   dispute procedure, rather
vision on dispute   than on the nature and
                    content of negotiations on
resolution in the   terms and conditions of
public service      employment.
 How does PS compare to other
           forums?
      Employees within scope of different forums
                     12%                                                 Conclusion –
                                                                         relatively few disputes
                                        Public service councils
                              14%

                                        Bargaining councils
                                                                         are referred in the
                                        (excl PS)
                                        CCMA                             public service.
74%
                                                                  No. of disputes referred to different forums
                                                                             2%

                                                                                        19%


                                                                                                      Public service councils

                                                                                                      Bargaining councils
                                                                                                      (excl PS)
                                                                                                      CCMA




                                                              79%
                                 Rate of disputes referred to
                                      different forums
                            Rate of disputes referred to different forums
                                                                                                      Rate of disputes referred per Sectoral Council
No. of disputes referred




                           30
per 1000 employees in




                           25                                                                                              7
                           20
         scope




                                                                                       No. of disputes referred per 1000
                           15                                                                                              6
                           10




                                                                                              employees in scope
                           5                                                                                               5
                           0
                                Public service       CCMA           All bargaining                                         4
                                  councils                        councils (excl PS)
                                                     Forums
                                                                                                                           3

                                                                                                                           2
               Conclusion: Factors                                                                                         1

               other than PS play a                                                                                        0
                                                                                                                               Health and   Education   Safety &   General
               significant role in rate                                                                                         Welfare                 Security    Public
                                                                                                                                                                   Service
               of disputes referred.                                                                                                        Sectoral Councils
       Types of disputes referred
                                                                       ULP much
        Types of disputes referred to different forums
                                                                       more prevalent
                                                                       than in CCMA,
100%
                                                                       but less
80%
                                                                       common than
60%
                                              Other                    in other BCs.
40%                                           Unfair Labour Practice
                                              Unfair dismissals
20%

 0%
        Public    All bargaining   CCMA
        service   councils (incl
       councils        PS)
Wider scope for role of Public
    Sector Councils (1)?
 PS Councils have achieved high
 standards of service delivery to their
 sectors.
 Despite some growth pains in the past,
 Councils generally are coping with
 workloads.
 – Although turn-around time can be improved.
 Parties generally have confidence in
 referring cases.
 There is scope for extension to
 services rendered.
Wider scope for role of Public
    Sector Councils (2)?
 Potential benefits of widening scope:
 – Using panelists that know the sector.
 – Lower cost and quicker resolution.
 Some services have already been
 extended:
 – ELRC is engaging more frequently, with consent
   of parties, in facilitation of wider disputes / issues,
   such as restructuring.
 – PHWSBC is debating widening scope to conciliate
   and arbitrate unfair discrimination disputes,
   where both parties agree.
     Overall achievements
Improvements over              Fine-tuned dispute
past years:                    procedure, and adopted
                               dispute resolution rules
– Councils have developed
  sufficient administrative
                               in most of the councils.
                               – The dispute procedures of
  capacity                       the various councils, and
– High standards of service      specific innovations that
  delivery to their sectors;     have assisted to address
                                 problem areas, are
– Professional panels of         described in the
  dispute resolvers.             Conciliation and Arbitration
                                 Handbook.
Despite some growth
pains in the past,             Parties generally seem
                               to have confidence in
Councils generally are
                               referring cases.
coping with workloads,
although turn-around
time can be improved.
Wider scope for role of Public
    Sector Councils (1)?
 There is scope for         Some services have
 extension to               already been
 services rendered.         extended:
                            – ELRC is engaging more
 Potential benefits of        frequently, with consent
                              of parties, in facilitation
 widening scope:              of wider disputes /
 – Using panelists that       issues, such as
   know the sector.           restructuring.
 – Lower cost and quicker   – PHWSBC is debating
   resolution.                widening scope to
                              conciliate and arbitrate
                              unfair discrimination
                              disputes, where both
                              parties agree.
Wider scope for role of Public
    Sector Councils (2)?
 Disputes that could be considered for
 future resolution by PS Councils,
 usually with the consent of both
 parties:
 – Unfair discrimination
 – Other disputes that must usually be referred to
   the LC.
 – Individual contract-type disputes, including
   payment and unresolved BCEA disputes
 – Broader facilitation on process that could lead to
   disputes, where independent facilitation is not
   used
   Cost of the PS Councils
Cost per referral is                Need to address
relatively low.                     regular increase in
Costs per referral                  income: eg
reduced :                           automatic levy
– Screening of cases by             increase in ELRC,
  the Secretary, ensuring           linked to the %
  that:
     Clear cases of no              salary increases.
     jurisdiction are referred to
     correct forum;
     Incomplete referrals are
     corrected.
– Increase case load in a
  council such as the
  GPSSBC.
Panels of dispute resolvers
            (1)
Already in place (in                  Future:
some councils):                       – Ensure adequate annual
– Selection of panelists:               increases to avoid
  Use of ‘objective’ criteria           erosion of panel
  in some councils                    – Use of a senior panel,
– Smaller panels, with due              where appropriate.
  attention to quality.               – Quality control;
      Allows panelists to develop          Checking quality of
      better knowledge of the              awards
      sector
      Focused training of panelists
                                           Best method: correct
                                           selection; briefings;
– Discretionary power for
                                           appropriate fees
  secretaries in some
  councils to use higher
  fee-paying panel
  members
Panels of dispute resolvers
            (2)
Communicate principles considered in
awards
– Post key awards on the internet
– Summaries of decisions
– Effective search engine
Whether to defend applications for
reviews in some circumstances?
        Role of parties and
           secretariats
Parties may have               Role of secretariats
                               – Key to effective functioning
controlled too                   of a council
                               – Relationships between
closely the process              secretariats and parties
                                 have grown over the years.
of adapting                    – Still scope for more trust
                                 being placed in secretariats,
procedures                       where appropriately skilled.
– Negotiators do not always    More skill in the
  have experience in day-to-   secretariats and more
  day problems of dispute      confidence by parties in
  resolution in the councils   the secretariat
– Long delay in finalizing     – to fulfill functions that will
                                 streamline dispute
  review of dispute              procedures, such as vetting
  procedures                     of applications, appointment
                                 of panelists
– Important issues not
  addressed
Coordination of DRP in public
     service councils?
 Appropriate to have a general core of
 shared principles and procedures
 Supplemented with appropriate
 adaptations for each sector,
 – Ie appropriate tweaking of procedures
Some specific innovations
Expedited procedures in the ELRC
– Allowing flexibility to bring in conarb when in
  appropriate.
– Panellist selected by secretary, not the parties
Pre-dismissal arb – Council paying fully
for hearings
Compulsory pre-arb meeting in the
SSSBC, to avoid postponements
           Information
Improve provision of information to
parties and employees
Clear description of similarities and
differences between different councils,
to be readily available.
Key principles considered in arbitration
awards to be summarised and available
to all users.

				
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