Tuesday, 03 March 2015 16:30

Civil Engineering Industry begins wage negotiations

All the necessary processes are in place to begin this year's wage negotiations for the civil engineering industry, says Bargaining Council for the Civil Engineering Industry (BCCEI) general secretary Nick Faasen.

"We decided to no longer hold wage submission workshops for non-party companies, as was initially planned for January and February. Instead, we decided to send a circular to all non-party stakeholders inviting them to submit their offers by the end of February in preparation for the first round of wage negotiations, which has been scheduled for March 4," he explains.

  • Faasen highlights that the council has recruited renowned wage negotiation facilitator advocate Avsal Mosam to facilitate the negotiations.
  • The council has planned five rounds of negotiations, spanning March to mid-June. A final offer will be submitted to the Department of Labour (DoL) on June 30, after which the department has 60 days to consider, approve and promulgate the agreement, plus an additional 21 days for public comment.

Sector Statistics

It is difficult to quantify the civil engineering industry's contribution to the country's employment rate, says Faasen, explaining that, prior to the formation of the council in 2012, there had not been an organisation dedicated to monitoring the employment statistics of the industry.

The difficulties include:

  • data from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) is often outdated and inaccurate.
  • the biggest problem facing those who have tried to acquire accurate data on the industry is that nobody knows exactly how big the civil engineering industry is
  • industry uses limited-duration-contract (LDC) employees, as government stipulates that, with every infra-structure project, contractors must employ, empower and train locals to do the work
  • with every contract, a contractor has only a limited number of full-time employees, while the majority of workers comprise LDC local employees for either the duration of the project or for as long as their services are required
  • The council was registered by the DoL in December 2012 and Faasen assumed the role of general secretary in June 2013.
  • The council, which is funded through a mandated administration and dispute levy by all members, exempts smaller companies from becoming members and being bound by agreements reached by the council.