10111 Emergency Call Centre: SAFTU Threatens ‘Talkative’ Mbalula

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula received a harsh warning from the Police Union and SAFTU over issues affecting the 10111 emergency call centre workers who marched on Tuesday.

The Minister had his office crowded with protesters from the emergency call centre seeking for an increase of their wages.

The workers demanded that Mbalula listens to their call for a salary increase or witness a nationwide shutdown of the  10111 emergency call centre in fourteen days.

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South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi who supported the protesting workers in front of Mbalula’s office seized the opportunity to lash out at the minister for failing to meet the needs of his workers.

Addressing about 100 staff members of the police’s 10111 call centre, Vavi called on Mbalula to put a stop to his too much talks, jive, rhetoric and shiny suits with bow ties, and concentrate more on meeting the needs of the workers or face the dire consequences.

He gave Minister Mbaluma and the government seven days to respond to 10111 emergency call centre workers demands, which included being upgraded to a level 7 salary scale (R226 211 p/a).

“Wherever you (Phahlane) are, continue playing the music from your R80 000 music system,” Vavi said to before the cheering workers.

He also took a swing at suspended national acting commissioner Khomotso Phahlane, saying he was correctly suspended “because he tried to undermine an agreement with former national police commissioner Riah Phiyega”.

In like manner, the South African Police Union general secretary Oscar Skommere warned that failure to give a positive response to the demands of the emergency call centre workers would cause a national disaster.

“We will give them 14 days for a favourable response, and if they do not give a positive response, there will be a national shutdown because 10111 workers are all over the country,” Skommere said, adding that the police do not want to take the members seriously and don’t want to come on board at the bargaining council.

“We are now going to give the minister seven days to address the issue and, if he fails to do that, we will have to close all the call centers”

The 10111 emergency call centre is usually the first port of call for South Africans who might be needing help during an emergency. But, the workers seem not okay with their wages, hence the Protest March on Tuesday.

Among other issues, they demanded to be addressed is their request for salary levels be increased as per the recommendations of a report that was put in place by suspended national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega in 2013.

Despite being the busiest emergency call centre with a high workload than the other government call centres, the workers are still paid less than what other government call centres receive.

In 2013, the 10111 staff met Phiyega and the then Gauteng provincial police chief Lesetja Mothiba – who is now the interim acting national police commissioner – to address members’ concerns regarding their salary level at the police call centre.

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According to reports, a task team recommended that the salary level at 10111 emergency call centre should upgrade to salary level 7, which was also approved by the provincial management and the benchmark report, was sent to Phahlane for approval.

But after the evaluation was completed in October last 2016, Phahlane said the posts would be converted to constable posts as stated in the Police Act.

Vavi said the police wanted to convert the 10111 staff from the Public Service Act into the Police Act.

“They will take only those who are below the age of 45,” Vavi said. – [email protected]

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