JHB firefighters hope for favourable ruling on overtime

Firefighters embarked on a ‘go-slow’ after the municipality failed to pay overtime owed since 2010.

Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Johannesburg firefighters say they hope a Bargaining Council decision in favour of Emfuleni firefighters regarding overtime, will set a precedent for their case.

Emfuleni firefighters embarked on a 'go-slow' last week after the municipality failed to pay overtime owed since 2010.

Last year, firefighters represented themselves at the Bargaining Council.

They spoke out about the conditions they were forced to work under and the lack of essential equipment.

The firefighters' representative, Dan Motsoeneng, says the fact that two other municipalities have lost the same dispute regarding overtime at the Bargaining Council, shows that their interpretation of the contract is correct.

But Johannesburg Emergency Services has argued that employees are contracted to work a 12-hour shift and do not qualify for the overtime they are claiming.

Motsoeneng says they are waiting for the Bargaining Council to take a decision on the matter, before they go back to the labour court in March after the case was postponed last year.

He says there it's not clear when the Bargaining Council will hand down its ruling.