The ongoing success of the Bargaining Council for the Civil Engineering Industry (BCCEI) has led to its accreditation by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) being extended for another three and a half years.
“This is a great achievement, especially for a relatively young bargaining council and we are very proud,” says Merle Denson, dispute manager at the BCCEI. Denson notes that this is the second consecutive accreditation by the CCMA – demonstrating the BCCEI’s capacity to deliver on its mandate.
The CCMA’s accreditation allows the BCCEI to continue performing its dispute resolution functions, either by conciliation or – if the dispute remains unresolved – through arbitration.
The green light from the CCMA follows the recent extension by the Minister of Labour of the BCCEI’s dispute resolution collective agreement, allowing its decisions to be binding on non-parties.
“The stringent accreditation process demands that we meet a range of targets and standards, as well as efficiency indicators, to ensure a standardised and optimal performance of our duties,” she says.
“Our services have consistently met CCMA standards in terms of targets like conciliation and arbitration turnaround times, zero late arbitrations awards, settlement rates and quality control measures.”
She says this shows that the dispute resolution centre of the BCCEI is “on the right track” as far as both the CCMA and the Labour Relations Act requirements are concerned.
The CCMA’s latest accreditation will run from 1 April 2020 to 31 August 2023.
Detailed reporting of the BCCEI’s operations is required on a regular basis for various bodies, highlighting everything from the number of referrals, outcomes of processes, cases scheduled and analysis of the types of cases being referred. Reports also track specific efficiencies on a monthly basis.
“Reporting documents must be submitted to the CCMA each quarter, for instance,” says Denson. “We are constantly monitoring ourselves in terms of efficiency and performance through the statistics that the BCCEI system generates.”
Among the CCMA’s other requirements is that the commissioners used for conciliation and arbitration – who must be CCMA-accredited in their own right – are all independent and qualified. Their performance is also monitored by the BCCEI in line with a specific code of conduct.
Signatory parties to the BCCEI are the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Building Construction and Allied Workers Unions (BCAWU) from the trade unions, and the Consolidated Employers’ Organisation (CEO) and South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (SAFCEC) from the employers.