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POPCRU National Bargaining Conference Declaration
7th - 8th March 2016, Holiday Inn Hotel in Boksburg, Gauteng.
Theme “Transforming the Criminal Justice Cluster in defence of the Working Class struggle for the advancement of the National Democratic Revolution”
We, the members of Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union [POPCRU] represented here as delegates convened at this pivotal Parliament of the working class - National Bargaining Conference, comprising of National Office Bearers [NOBs], Provincial Office Bearer [POBs], officials, Bargaining Councils, National and Provincial Negotiators, invited leaders from the African National Congress [ANC], the South African Communist Party [SACP] and the Federation [COSATU] and its progressive Affiliates, representatives from International Labour Organisations [LEPOSA, SWADNU, LEPSA & BOPEU].
This is the most important gathering and an assembly of the working class - the National Bargaining Conference to constructively deliberate on the most critical issues affecting the working class and the poor. We again convened here at one of a historic POPCRU’s National Bargaining Conference since February 2013 and now under the theme “Transforming the Criminal Justice Cluster in defence of the Working Class struggle for the advancement of the National Democratic Revolution”. The deliberations of this National Bargaining conference were held under the following important objectives:-
- To assess the functioning of the Collective Bargaining department;
- To strategically position POPCRU towards 2019 on collective bargaining matters;
- To consolidate power within the Criminal Justice and
- To improve service conditions and quality of life of members and advance the National Democratic Revolution [NDR].
We recognised that historically, Collective Bargaining is a cornerstone of ensuring that the socio-economic conditions of the working class and the poor are influenced and exposed through various negation platforms. To ensure that workers are free from the scourge of the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
We reaffirm our commitment that it is through this National Bargaining Conference where our membership service delivery models and bargaining tools are strategically formulated, structured, sharpened and brought into line.
We acknowledged that the Public Service is faced and confronted with immense challenges which among others include the recent transformation of Tax laws on Pension fund by government. We further acknowledged that POPCRU is a strategic ally within COSATU that can influence transformation of the entire Public Service including the Criminal Justice through platforms such as this one - the National Bargaining Conference. We recognised that the world is evolving and that it requires that the landscape of collective bargaining must evolve in the same pace to tackle the on-going attacks on the working class.
We convened at the time when, in our country and abroad, the multiple crises of capitalism are deepening and the impact is reaching its zenith, severely affecting workers and the unemployed youth of our country, among others. Problems such as the crises of the balance of payments which hit many countries in the global South in the 1980s have resurfaced, posing serious challenges and driving the affected economies in the yoke of global loan sharks such as the International Monetary Fund [IMF] which do no good than harm through the IMF/ World Bank-imposed conditionalities they attach to lending.
We come out this National Bargaining Conference inspired that decisions taken here have assisted us to look into new approaches and innovative ways to further advance our agenda of a better life for workers employed within the South African Police Service [SAPS], Correctional Service, Traffic and other Entities where we organise.
POPCRU as a strategic bloc within the Criminal Justice must utilise its resources and capacity to defend, take forward and raise the plight of the many workers who work hard and having to be faced with layoffs without sharing the gains of their hard-earned productivity. This National Bargaining Conference affirms that continuous dialogue with employers remains key which requires well-trained and well equipped cadres to safeguard the interests of the workers.
Our major task was to reflect on the conditions facing workers, the many strides we have made since 2013 within the Bargaining Councils, and the shortcomings thereof.
In the backdrop of colonial legacies, threats against collective bargaining, low wages, socio-economic challenges faced by workers both within the Public Service and Private sectors; we affirm that Bargaining Councils remains the key institutions which must be extensively utilised turn the tide and improve the standard of living of the workers.
It is within this context that we collectively dedicate our efforts to defend the interests and aspirations of the working class and the poor. We resolve and declare that:-
- The current demarcations of Correctional Services be reviewed back to the original demarcations [e.g. Provinces not in Regions],
- The outsourced services within the Public sector in particular in the SAPS should be abolished,
- The transformation of Gems should be speeded up;
- The communication tools on all achievements and gains be put in place;
- A programme of Action on Correctional Services should be developed, communicated through the structured like the Provincial Shopsteward Councils [PSCs] and for full implementation in April 2016;
- Taking POPCRU towards 2019 and beyond, requires that we need to put into action strategic administrative and monitoring tools;
- Our recruitment and retention models needs to be fine-tuned to suit the current crop of employees that are employed by departments;
- POPCRU’s bargaining machinery should be strengthened, sharpened and well capacitated to be able to challenge issues related to improving the quality living standards of our members;
- POPCRU’s service delivery model must be sharpened and aligned appropriately to address members’ needs;
- All signed agreements should be fully implemented and where necessary enforcement processes be put in place when there is reluctance;
- The matter of Private Security requires an extensive political engagement at the level of COSATU;
- A process of reviewing our scope should be extensively consulted with through the Alliance in particular in COSATU in order to be aligned to a Single Police Service;
- A position paper should be developed and tabled at the PSCBC for endorsement;
- A process to establish a Criminal Justice Cluster Council should be established in line with the current merge of departments within the sector;
- We re-affirm the 8th national congress resolution on the nationalisation of Traffic and that the processes should be strictly monitored until the resolution is fully attained;
- We further affirm our congress resolution on NHI;
- Engage PIC, which is an investment arm of the Government Employees Pension Fund [GEPF], to fund the Government Employees Housing Schemes [GEHS] and that the GEHS must be a government component within the DPSA
We therefore, conclude that the discussions, debates and the declaration adopted at this august occasion - the National Bargaining Conference has provided an intense reflection of our strategic positioning towards 2019 and beyond.
The outcomes of this National Collective Bargaining conference will be shared and implemented within our ranks, our organization at large to realize our organizational commitments in advancing our working class consciousness.
Forward with POPCRU Forward!
Long Live POPCRU!
Forward with the unity of COSATU!