The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) has rejected a Facilitator’s Proposal relating to shift allowances for Fire and Rescue Services employees in the City of Cape Town.

Negotiations between the City of Cape Town and organised labour, being conducted under the auspices of the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) deadlocked. Parties to the SALGBC are in dispute regarding payment for work performed in excess of the City of Cape Town’s normal working hours.

“It is true that the current collective agreement makes provision for a monthly allowance of 22.8 % of an employee’s salary in lieu of the additional and excessive working hours they must work. It is also true that this allowance has not been adequately increased to account for years of inflationary increases. We all rely on our fire fighters to bravely protect and serve yet do not make their ability to provide for themselves and their families a priority,” stated Cape Town Metro Regional Manager, Etienne Bruwer.

“IMATU has referred the matter to essential services arbitration as fire fighters and other related emergency services staff are classified as essential services and therefore precluded from protected strike action,” explained Bruwer.

The matter is set down for conciliation on 30 October 2018. Should no settlement be reached through conciliation, the matter will proceed to formal arbitration.

“While our legal representatives have been briefed, IMATU believes that the matter can still be settled through negotiation. We have been interacting with the Executive Mayor’s Office and believe that with strategic intervention, the plight of fire fighters can be adequately addressed,” concluded Bruwer.