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Ineffective wage negotiations mean the police will go on strike from today!

by , 29 May 2013
In the latest ironic case of strike action, police across the country will be out of action today due to a strike called by the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union or POPCRU as management still hasn't implemented a Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council agreement from 2011. With 42,000 members of the police force expected to march, members of the public have been told not to panic as contingency plans have been set in place. Here's how to prevent a similar strike in your workplace by making sure your wage negotiations are effective...

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Discover how to stand up to striking employees and even completely avoid strikes with the A-Z Guide to Preventing and Managing Strikes...

An administrative protest by POPCRU-aligned police members is planned from today over salary grade change expectations, says IOL.
They're also demanding that management honours a promise of separate career planning for operational and administrative staff that hasn't yet been met. 
That's because management is refusing to implement a 2011 Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council agreement.
By not budgeting for this, and ignoring a legally binding document, they're said to have brought the strike on themselves, says TheTimesLive.
Ironically, those who do strike will face disciplinary action and a 'no work, no pay' principle will be implemented.
But spokesperson Brigadier Phuti Setati says for the public not to panic as the police force understands its mandate as an essential service.
Here's how today's police strike will affect the country…
The strike will begin in the Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo, with Gauteng police going on strike on Thursday, and clerks in the North West joining next week.
The effects of the strike will be far-reaching, with fears that the public will ultimately be the ones who suffer as emergency calls could go unanswered, with crime-fighting police removed from the streets to man telephones, says TheTimesLive.
But that's not the only impact of the strike.
If the strikers get their way, the police force will end up paying R900-million more a year on salaries for each administrative staff member to earn about R20 000 more annually.
Police management has already told the union it doesn't have this money for this, as initially agreed.
So it ultimately boils down to poor wage negotiations with the bargaining council in the first place, says FSPBusiness.
Start your wage negotiations the right way to keep everyone happy and prevent a strike down the line…
One way to prevent a situation like this from arising is to factor the cost of living into your company's wage negotiations before you start the collective bargaining process, so that you have accurate facts on the true impact of rising food costs, petrol and electricity, which is often the reason employees demand a wage increase.
 Then, you need to start the wage negotiation process with an offer that's fairly realistic, based on the rising cost of living and reasonably close to what you intend paying as increases, says The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf.
Because making 'ridiculous opening offers' only serves to delay and frustrate the process, and simply agreeing with employees' high demands will set you on a course for trouble in the long run if you agree but can't meet them.
It's one way to prevent confusion and avoid strike action that could cripple your business in the long run.

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