NISA Newsletter of the Internal Staff Association (ISA) Branch of SAPTU

Report back – BLRF 04th and 5th April 2018


  1. Annual Substantive Wage Negotiations

Labour has sent an interim signed wage demand to the employer, the reason being is that there are a lot of pending issues from the last wage negotiations that need to be resolved before a final wage demand can be signed. The demands below will be changed depending on whether the employer has resolved some of the pending issues.




Motivation for substantive wage demands

  1. The price of food, water, electricity and petrol in South Africa continue to increase year-on-year.
  2. The domestic petrol price is primarily driven by changes in the exchange rate and in addition to this all indications are that the petrol price is set to increase substantially due to the recent fuel levy increase.
  3. The increase in the petrol price impacts on food prices and other commodities which include public transport.
  4. The general expectation is that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) will remain within government’s 3% to 6% target for this financial year.  However, the recent increase in value added tax has a knock-on effect on every aspect of employee’s daily lives and this, linked with the increase in the petrol price, could have an unforeseen negative impact on the CPI.
  5. University and school fees are increasing on an annual basis with more than the average CPI and also medical aid and healthcare costs in the country and globally.
  6. The majority of employees are not able to afford to buy decent houses because of the high price of the average house and challenges with accessing funding. Rental fees also increase annually. We must together encourage home ownership for employees. Therefore an increase in the living allowance should assist in this regard as would the approval of the FNB home loan scheme by the Board
  7. A wage increase in line with average inflation puts pressure on workers’ disposable incomes because it does not afford protection against the ever increasing cost of living.


Therefore, the wage demand for the financial year 2018/2019 must consist of a cost of living adjustment plus a real salary increase to protect employees from the abovementioned situation and sustain their purchasing power.


Consolidated substantial demands

Scope of bargaining unit

The scope to be extended to include employees from Grades A to Grade D5.


Term of agreement

Single term


Implementation date

1 April 2018


Salary adjustment

13% across the board (ATB) on basic salary as per unbundled salary packages for all levels.


13th Cheque

Separate 13th cheque to be instituted for salary levels D1 and higher


Retirement fund

NHLS to contribute towards the retirement fund of employees.


Medical aid

Adjustment of monthly subsidy with the same percentage as the salary increase and the maximum subsidy to R3000 per month.


Living (housing) allowance

R 2000 per month


Shift allowance

R50. 00 or 45% of hourly rate whichever is the greater


Standby allowance

R40 for weekdays and R50 for weekends


Core skills allowance

Extending of the 5% core skills allowance to all registrable professionals and who are performing the job relevant to their registration.


Performance Pay Progression

For performance assessments, the remuneration thereof should be 1.5% of basic salary for scores 3, 4 and 5 as agreed previously. An additional once-off bonus of R6000 for score 4 and R7000 for score 5 should be paid by no later than September of each year.


Danger allowance

R500 per month, to include drivers, receiving clerks, messengers, cleaners and any other job categories potentially exposed to infectious organisms.



Paternity leave increase to 5 days.

Family responsibility leave increase to 7 days.

Maternity leave to increase to six months.


December half days

Workers to receive a half-day for working either on the 24th or the 31st December or both days.


Shop stewards’ leave

Full implementation of 2017 agreement in this regard.


2015 Debt

The 2015 debt letters to be withdrawn and the debt written-off.


Union Meetings

The Union Branch General Meetings time-off to be increased to 2 hours.


Terms of conditions for Prosectors

All Prosectors to enjoy conditions of service and pay benefits similar to public service workers.


Fulltime shop stewards

The NHLS to release one full-time shop steward per province, and the qualifying threshold to be 30% of the number of employees within the bargaining unit PLUS one.


Statutory Council annual fee

Must be paid directly to the HPCSA and all other statutory councils by the employer. The employer to extend the payment of registration fees to all registrable professions performing work in line with registration to receive allowance (i.e. Nurses, Phlebotomists, Pharmacists, etc.).


Grade and salary discrepancies

All grade and salary discrepancies to be harmonized with the lowest grade moved to the highest grade.


Outstanding issues

Urgent resolution of all outstanding agreements within three months of signing the 2018/19 agreement.


  1. Proficiency

The proficiency is being reviewed by the RHRC, Fin-Com and the Board via a workshop. Any fundamental changes will be circulated back to the Task Teams that finalized the matrices. Labour’s query about the outliers i.e. epidemiologists and others categories, will be considered. The employer said that these must be raised to a special committee which deals with and refers matters to a moderation committee.


  1. Debt recovery

Labour proposed that the debt letters be reversed and that the debt of 2015 be written off. The employer said that they have tabled it with the Board and RHRC. Legal needs to look at the proposal. RHRC meets on 12/04/2018.


  1. Grade discrepancies

The matter has been referred to the RHRC. This will also include the proposal dealing with Laboratory Managers and Laboratory Supervisors.


  1. 13th Cheque

The employer will send a proposal to labour about how this will be implemented. The proposal will be circulated to all members for consideration once received. At present the 13th cheque status quo remains i.e. that all 13th cheques will be paid in December.


  1. Insourcing

6.1          Drivers – The task team has not met. The employer suggested that labour submit which category of drivers they are looking at insourcing. Is it the couriers or NHLS?

6.2          Gardening service – there was no submission from labour.

6.3          Security Services – Offers were extended to 90 employees. The integration will start in April 2018. A remainder of 10 appointments are still to be done.

6.4          Cleaners insourcing is completed.


  1. Rural allowances

Labour proposed that the rural allowance be reviewed and aligned with that of the Department of Health. Management agreed to look at it but said that it is not an easy process.


  1. AGM

Labour talked to the two policies at the AGM, this being the BLRF Constitution and Procedural and Recognition Agreement.


BLRF Constitution

Labour’s only input was the extension of the BLRF scope to include levels D2 – D5.


Procedural and Recognition Agreement

Labour requested the discussion on:


6.1 Shop steward leave – Labour argued that the 7 days agreed previously is too little as their shop stewards exhaust their days performing union work and this impacts on the functioning of the unions. It was agreed in principle that a pool of 530 days be pooled nationally and to be used by members across the region. If and when these days are exhausted, the union will motivate for extra days depending their operations. This will be monitored for re-negotiation and it will give an idea of how many days are actually required.


6.2 Full time shop stewards – The Board has agreed that if a union reaches 50+1%, they would get two full time shop stewards. If the union’s stats increases, the rationale would be 1 shop steward thereafter for every 10% increase in the membership.