SAPS hotline agents on strike over salaries
EVEN though the automatic recorded voice for the 10111 number says an operator will “attend to your call shortly”, that will not be any time soon as emergency call centre operators working for the nationwide helpline officially downed tools yesterday.
They claimed they had been denied salary increases for four years.
The general secretary for the South African Policing Union (Sapu), Oscar Skommere, said the workers were determined to fight the “cruelty and injustice” being meted out to them by the SAPS on all fronts.
Skommere said the workers had taken the decision to down tools even though arbitration processes regarding their salaries were still under way.
“The workers have been waiting for four years for the employer to honour the recommendations of the task team set up by former national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega in 2013,” Skommere said.
The task team set up by Phiyega conducted benchmarking against Home Affairs, Sassa, Sars, Crimestop and the Presidential hotline call centres.
In its findings, it recommended that workers be upgraded to salary level seven to earn R226 211 per annum.
However, the recommendations were not implemented as the former acting commissioner, General Khomotso Phahlane, announced that the workers would be converted into an essential service.
The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru), however, cautioned its members not to take part in the strike.
Richard Mamabolo, Popcru spokesperson, said the organisation had advised its members not to take part in any strike action taken by other unions as they felt they had taken a populist and covert stance.
“Their stance is solely aimed at creating a false impression that they have numbers and can take the employer head-on,” said Mamabolo.