10111 workers’ final warning to Mbalula: upgrade our salary level or face a shutdown of service
Sipho Mabena | 2017-06-06 15:48:40.0
Image by: Gallo Images/iStockphoto
As a 10111 police emergency line operator‚ Audrey Sibeko‚ a breadwinner for a family of seven‚ is well aware that her job means a difference between life and death for the public that she serves.
But the 30-year-old from Lenasia South‚ along with thousands of her colleagues across the country‚ will not think twice about abandoning her workstation to fight for a living wage.
A march‚ led by the SA Police Union and supported by the newly formed SA Federation of Trade Unions‚ which she joined to the minister of police Fikile Mbalula’s office in Pretoria‚ is the last warning of what could happen if the 10111 members’ demand to be upgraded from salary level five to level seven is not met.
“We have been fighting for what is rightfully ours since 2013 and we have been patient enough. It is either we get what we deserve or there will be a shutdown of 10111 call centres nationwide‚” Sibeko said.
She has been doing this vital job for more than nine years‚ working a 12-hour shift at the Gauteng police emergency call centre in Midrand and taking home R7‚000 a month after deductions.
If her union‚ SA Police Union‚ gets its way and they are upgraded to level seven‚ she will take home about R12‚000 a month.
“It is not enough but I can manage. I am not coping with what I currently earn. I cannot save a single cent and I am drowning in debt. R1‚500 goes to rent‚ R3‚500 to groceries and the rest goes towards school related expenses‚” she said.
Her colleague‚ Tsakane Ngonyama‚ a widower from Malamulele in Limpopo‚ has been manning the 10111 centre for over three years now and says it is no easy task.
“It is emotionally and physically draining. You are online for no less than 10 hours‚ fielding distressed calls from the members of the public. What we earn does not match the amount of work we do and the stress that comes with taking such calls‚ ensuring that help arrives in time for lives to be spared…I always dread pay day because I am broke the minute the money lands in my bank account‚” he said.
According to the memorandum presented to Mbalula’s office‚ SAPU is demanding that the salary upgrades recommended by a task team set up by suspended police commissioner Riah Phiyega in 2013 be implemented.
According to SAPU‚ the task team’s report recommended that the salary scale at 10111 be upgraded to level seven.
The union has charged that instead‚ the SAPS wants to migrate the 10111 posts from the Public Service Act to the SA Police Act.
SAPU has given Mbalula 14 days to respond or the critical 10111 services centres nationwide will shut down. Thembile Zolile‚ who accepted the memorandum on Mbalula’s behalf‚ said the minister was already aware of the issue and that he had committed to a speedy resolution of the matter.