n Journal of Public Administration - Collective bargaining and the public sector

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The right to free collective bargaining, with a right to freedom of association and freedom from victimisation, has been protected by labour legislation in South Africa , 1995 (LRA) (Act 66 of 1995) regulates collective bargaining in South Africa and all collective agreements are now binding and enforceable in terms of this Act. Prior to the LRA, state employees did not have access to the labour courts and statutory bargaining mechanisms and their conditions of service were regulated by separate acts such as the and regulations issued under this Act. Labour issues in the public sector are now regulated by the LRA. The process of creating public sector bargaining councils began with the creation of a bargaining council for the public sector as a whole, known as the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council, with functions and responsibilities identical to those in the private sector. The public service is the largest employer in the country, the single most important agent of development in the country and a very important role player in the labour relations arena in this country. This article explains the importance of collective bargaining in the public sector.

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