Cape Town braces for threat of firefighting disruptions

.Contingency plans have been put in place to deal with the threat of firefighters refusing to work their standby hours in Cape Town.

Cape Town firefighters took to the streets last week to demand overtime pay.
Image: 123RF/Tyler Olson

This comes after the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) said that firefighters would only work from 8am until 4.30pm. The union claimed firefighters were not paid for overtime work but the city disputed this.

Last week firefighters took to the streets to demand overtime pay.

The City of Cape Town said that of its 900 firefighting staff, about 60% were affiliated to Samwu.

Richard Bosman, executive director for safety and security for the city, said that critical fire stations had been identified where a minimum level of service would still be available.

Should workers refuse to work overtime, the city would redeploy staff on duty to critical fire stations where there were staff shortages, call on day shift staff on the standby roster to man critical vehicles, and call on staff on their rest days to make up shortfalls.

Bosman said the city would also call on assistance from neighbouring municipalities in terms of a standing agreement in the event of major incidents.

“In addition, the fire-and-rescue service will initiate disciplinary steps against any employee who refuses to work the standby hours, as they would be in contravention of their current conditions of service.”

Meanwhile in Johannesburg, about 230 firefighters were suspended after refusing to attend to call-outs without supervisors.

Source: TMG Digital

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