Firefighters accuse City of CT of underpaying them

Some firefighters say they work long hours, often in dangerous situations, but their pay does not reflect this.

A small group of firefighters and supporters from across Cape Town, including Fish Hoek, Simon's Town and Hout Bay are picketing in front of Lakeside fire station. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Some Cape Town firefighters claim they are being “underpaid” by the City of Cape Town.

They say they work long hours, often in dangerous situations, but their pay does not reflect this.

A small group of firefighters and supporters from across Cape Town, including Fish Hoek, Simon's Town and Hout Bay are picketing in front of Lakeside fire station.

They're holding signs with messages like "How much are our lives worth?" and "Overworked and underpaid".

A firefighter who wishes to remain anonymous says trade unions have been in negotiations with the City of Cape Town for better wages but the outcomes have not been favourable for those in the service.

She says the City has offered a 30% increase, but this is on condition that the firefighters lose their standby allowance.

“We are there for 24 hours. Basically, what they are doing is instead of paying us a full salary for that 24 hours’ work, they’re giving us a standby allowance. Which isn’t true because we aren’t on standby, we are at work. We aren’t allowed to leave the premises of the station within that 24 hours, so why are you giving us a standby allowance when we are due to be paid a salary?”

Eyewitness News is still awaiting a comment from the city.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)