SAPS hot­line agents on strike over salaries

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - GOITSEMANG TLHABYE

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.

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