The South African Parastatals and Tertiary Institutions Union (Saptu) has questioned the decision by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA) to terminate the services of more than 500 part-time commissioners.
The CCMA announced the decision in December, citing financial reasons as a major impact on its operations and as a result resorted to cutting these commissioners to “make up for the R617 billion budget cut over the next three years”.
Saptu general secretary Ben van der Walt said this was going to cause major complications for both complainants and the CCMA.
“These cuts now leave the case load entirely to the 173 full-time commissioners left,” said Van de Walt.
“The part-time commissioners conducted 60% of the commission’s arbitration hearings without part-time commissioners. The arbitration backlogs will quickly build and workers will be the ones suffering.”
Saptu was also concerned that employers might abuse the cutbacks, knowing that disputes would only be heard much later if they dismissed employees now.