Imraan Patel examines the potential for co-determination in the public sector. Due to the structure and nature of decision-making in the public service, he suggests that workplace forums may not be the appropriate institutions for driving a process of democratisation.
Centralised bargaining on a broad agenda, in a context of centralised policy-making, is already taking place. With the devolution of administrative functions, however, appropriate structures of worker participation at lower levels will need to be created. But this should not compromise co-determination at the sectoral and national levels: and the agenda for co-determination, Patel argues, should be expanded from labour relations issues to include policy issues.