BCCEI Dispute Centre Is Now Open For Business

BCCEI Dispute Centre Is Now Open For Business

The Bargaining Council for the Civil Engineering Industry (BCCEI), registered at the Department of Labour on 7 December 2012, says that party to party disputes are now being handling by its Dispute Resolution Centre.

The BCCEI represents the interests of all CIDB level 4 to 9 companies. These are companies rated to undertake contracts with a value exceeding R1.5 million, who are members of SAFCEC and whose employees are members of BCAWU or NUM.

Merle Denson, senior case management officer at BCCEI, explains that having disputes heard by the BCCEI is advantageous to parties for a number of reasons. “The primary one is that the BCCEI has a current data base of skilled conciliators and arbitrators from which a panel of experienced commissioners has been selected and each is more than competent to hear individual cases. All commissioners sitting on this panel are CCMA accredited and have extensive experience in this industry sector.”

A large number of the commissioners have served on the Gautrain project, as well as at Medupi and Kusile power stations and therefore have an intimate understanding of the complexity of the issues common to the industry. Some of the panel members have also been trained in the new Labour Relations Act (LRA) amendments with specific reference to Section 198 disputes, which deal with Temporary Employment Service (TES or labour brokers).

“Because the civil engineering sector is mature and very specialised, it was essential to secure individuals who understand this industry when overseeing or hearing a dispute. The use of suitably qualified commissioners will consequently ensure the fairness and quality of the arbitration award,” Denson adds.

Another significant advantage is that the council is also in the process of building a library which will house all arbitration cases relating to the industry. The data will be available to members via the BCCEI website and will not only enable the BCCEI to build up a case study data base, but will also allow parties to access and review similar previous cases. “Due consideration will be given to those cases of a sensitive nature and in these instances specific references such as company and individual names will be removed,” says Denson.

All cases will be referred to the new BCCEI head office in Bedfordview, where the majority of cases in the greater PWV area will be heard. For cases in other regions, a commissioner will be appointed from the BCCEI panel to facilitate the process within that specific region.

The new Johannesburg premises include custom-built hearing rooms with state of the art equipment for recording of all arbitrations. Copies of these recordings will be available to parties in the dispute at a nominal cost. To ensure further ease of use, all the LRA statutory forms and the council’s rules will be available on the BCCEI website for access by parties when referring a dispute.

“It is worth noting that if a matter has already been referred to the CCMA prior to 1 April 2015, then that matter will proceed at the CCMA. In addition, Section 21 disputes relating to organisational rights will still have to be referred to the CCMA, as the BCCEI does not have the jurisdictional right to handle such disputes. Furthermore, the council is also not able to handle unfair discrimination disputes and these will also need to be referred to the CCMA,” Denson says.

An additional service provided by BCCEI is an Inquiry Arbitration (IA). Previously known as Pre-Dismissal Arbitration (PDA), this service will be available at a nominal charge. All Inquiry Arbitrations will be performed in terms of Section 188A of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) and the commissioner’s finding will be final and binding.

When an Inquiry Arbitration is conducted, it negates the need for an internal disciplinary hearing process within an organisation, enabling both parties to proceed directly to arbitration. With an Inquiry Arbitration, there is the option for the dispute to be heard at the company’s own premises, should this be required for logistical reasons. In addition to this, the parties can determine the date for this arbitration, allowing for greater flexibility.

“BCCEI’s dispute collective agreement is currently with the minister and we are awaiting a publication extension to non-parties. Following confirmation of this, BCCEI will apply to the CCMA for accreditation. Once accredited, the BCCEI will be able to undertake dispute resolution for party to party and non-party disputes within the civil engineering industry, with the exception of CIDB 1, 2 and 3 companies. Once we have received notification of the accreditation, we will advise the industry,” Denson says.

The Bargaining Council for the Civil Engineering Industry (BCCEI), registered at the Department of Labour on 7 December 2012, says that party to party disputes are now being handling by its Dispute Resolution Centre.

The BCCEI represents the interests of all CIDB level 4 to 9 companies. These are companies rated to undertake contracts with a value exceeding R1.5 million, who are members of SAFCEC and whose employees are members of BCAWU or NUM.

Merle Denson, senior case management officer at BCCEI, explains that having disputes heard by the BCCEI is advantageous to parties for a number of reasons. “The primary one is that the BCCEI has a current data base of skilled conciliators and arbitrators from which a panel of experienced commissioners has been selected and each is more than competent to hear individual cases. All commissioners sitting on this panel are CCMA accredited and have extensive experience in this industry sector.”

A large number of the commissioners have served on the Gautrain project, as well as at Medupi and Kusile power stations and therefore have an intimate understanding of the complexity of the issues common to the industry. Some of the panel members have also been trained in the new Labour Relations Act (LRA) amendments with specific reference to Section 198 disputes, which deal with Temporary Employment Service (TES or labour brokers).

“Because the civil engineering sector is mature and very specialised, it was essential to secure individuals who understand this industry when overseeing or hearing a dispute. The use of suitably qualified commissioners will consequently ensure the fairness and quality of the arbitration award,” Denson adds.

Another significant advantage is that the council is also in the process of building a library which will house all arbitration cases relating to the industry. The data will be available to members via the BCCEI website and will not only enable the BCCEI to build up a case study data base, but will also allow parties to access and review similar previous cases. “Due consideration will be given to those cases of a sensitive nature and in these instances specific references such as company and individual names will be removed,” says Denson.

All cases will be referred to the new BCCEI head office in Bedfordview, where the majority of cases in the greater PWV area will be heard. For cases in other regions, a commissioner will be appointed from the BCCEI panel to facilitate the process within that specific region.

The new Johannesburg premises include custom-built hearing rooms with state of the art equipment for recording of all arbitrations. Copies of these recordings will be available to parties in the dispute at a nominal cost. To ensure further ease of use, all the LRA statutory forms and the council’s rules will be available on the BCCEI website for access by parties when referring a dispute.

“It is worth noting that if a matter has already been referred to the CCMA prior to 1 April 2015, then that matter will proceed at the CCMA. In addition, Section 21 disputes relating to organisational rights will still have to be referred to the CCMA, as the BCCEI does not have the jurisdictional right to handle such disputes. Furthermore, the council is also not able to handle unfair discrimination disputes and these will also need to be referred to the CCMA,” Denson says.

An additional service provided by BCCEI is an Inquiry Arbitration (IA). Previously known as Pre-Dismissal Arbitration (PDA), this service will be available at a nominal charge. All Inquiry Arbitrations will be performed in terms of Section 188A of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) and the commissioner’s finding will be final and binding.

When an Inquiry Arbitration is conducted, it negates the need for an internal disciplinary hearing process within an organisation, enabling both parties to proceed directly to arbitration. With an Inquiry Arbitration, there is the option for the dispute to be heard at the company’s own premises, should this be required for logistical reasons. In addition to this, the parties can determine the date for this arbitration, allowing for greater flexibility.

“BCCEI’s dispute collective agreement is currently with the minister and we are awaiting a publication extension to non-parties. Following confirmation of this, BCCEI will apply to the CCMA for accreditation. Once accredited, the BCCEI will be able to undertake dispute resolution for party to party and non-party disputes within the civil engineering industry, with the exception of CIDB 1, 2 and 3 companies. Once we have received notification of the accreditation, we will advise the industry,” Denson says.

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