President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - Trade unions representing public servants have secured a deal that will ensure their members are guaranteed job security during the reconfiguration of national and provincial government departments announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this year.

The deal, sealed at the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) by the government and five public-sector unions on Friday, will also apply to premiers who have reconfigured their administrations.

“Employee security is a priority, in terms of which parties agree that no employee shall lose his/her employment or be negatively affected as a result of the transfer,” states the agreement.

According to the agreement, the government has undertaken not to force employees to take voluntary severance packages as the reconfiguration announced by Ramaphosa after the May elections is based on a non-­retrenchment guarantee.

It also promises that consultations that will be carried out during the process should be in the spirit of goodwill between departments as well as staff and their representatives.

“Fairness and transparency in terms of the decision-making process as well as implementation should underpin the process,” the parties to the PSCBC agreed.

The agreement also shows that the Department of Basic Education will take over the early childhood development function from the Department of Social Development, as Ramaphosa announced during his State of the Nation Address in February.

Ramaphosa’s office will take over the socio-economic assessment functions from the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and create policy and research services capacity in the Presidency.

The Government Communication and Information System will move from Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams to Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu, while their Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities counterpart Maite Nkoana-Mashabane will now be responsible for the people with disabilities functions and the National Youth Development Agency.

Other changes include the transfer of the infrastructure development management system from the National Treasury to the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, which will also be responsible for the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Committee from the Department of Economic Development.

The transfer process will only apply to funded posts, which will be ring-fenced, and there will not be automatic upgrades to higher-level positions.

Cosatu affiliates Nehawu, Popcru, Denosa, Sadtu and Naptosa are signatories to the agreement.

Political Bureau