Security officials working in VIP protection units for ministers, deputy ministers and premiers are threatening to stay away from work over unpaid travel allowances and overtime.
Government leaders could be left without protection at certain times as more than 1000 VIP protection personnel – who are members of the SA Policing Union (Sapu) and the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) – face off against the SAPS at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), and the Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council, according to a City Press report.
The two unions, representing millions of police officers, are at loggerheads over the payment of overtime and travel allowances for more than 1 100 VIP protection personnel in all nine provinces.
One member of Police Minister Bheki Cele’s protection unit in the Western Cape had since last year, taken the employer to task over owed overtime, according to the publication.
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Ntsikelelo Dada was deployed to work with Cele from Mthatha in the Eastern Cape to Cape Town in the Western Cape from 8am until 10pm from March 24 to 28 last year, leading to his accrual of many hours of overtime
On February 8, the CCMA ruled in his favour and awarded an order compelling the SAPS to pay him and his colleagues their overtime salaries, with interest.
However, the SAPS failed to carry out the order, which forced Dada to approach the bargaining council, which in turn upheld the CCMA ruling that he be paid.
Both the CCMA and the bargaining council dismissed the SAPS argument that overtime is a benefit in terms of an agreement that was implemented in 2014, and that by refusing to pay owed monies, it didn’t break any labour laws.
In North West, Sapu last week approached the CCMA for the third time since the beginning of the year after its members were not paid their overtime for June and last month.
At a media briefing on Sunday, Popcru secretary-general Jeff Dlala said his union would soon announce a plan of action, decrying the lack of resources and no salary increments for officers across the country.
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