South Africa

CoCT, SAMWU reach interim agreement over firefighters overtime pay

CoCT, SAMWU reach interim agreement over firefighters overtime pay

Cape Town - The City of Cape Town’s firefighters will return to their regular working hours from today, 8 October 2019.

The agreement between the City and the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) has been ratified by the Labour Court, which will hear arguments around the dispute over standby allowances for firefighters at the end of November.

The agreement applies to all Fire Service staff, irrespective of union affiliation.

The parties will return to court on 29 November 2019, where the court will make a final ruling in the matter relating to the overtime pay dispute between the Fire Service and unions.

Until then:

  • Firefighters will honour the terms of the existing collective agreement, relating to their 24-hour shifts and standby allowance.
  •  The City will uplift suspensions and stay all disciplinary proceedings against its employees arising from conduct that has taken place in relation to the dispute from 1 October 2019 to the date of the order.

"In the coming weeks, the parties will be required to file their heads of argument in preparation for the hearing in the Labour Court at the end of November. The City of Cape Town remains committed to resolving the ongoing dispute as speedily as the legal process allows, so that we can move forward," said the Executive Director for Safety and Security, Richard Bosman. 

"We would also like to express our sincere thanks to those firefighters and volunteers who have helped us to keep the service going over the past week, in spite of the challenges. They have remained true to the ethos of the Fire and Rescue Service."

SAMWU will engage its members today, to inform them of the interim agreement and staffing levels at the City’s 30 fire stations are expected to return to normal from this evening.

"I call on firefighters and management to work together in the interest of our residents. The court has plotted the way forward, and I encourage everyone to abide by it. I also trust that all parties will abide by the final court ruling when it is made, so that we can return the focus to firefighting and saving lives without the threat of sporadic industrial action in this very essential service," said Mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith.

Cape Argus