Arbitrator called in to help settle CT firefighters pay dispute

The pay dispute is related to the amount firefighters are paid for being on standby. The City of Cape Town also briefed the media on the labour dispute and the impact on fire and rescue operations.

FILE: Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - An arbitrator will be called on to help settle a pay dispute with Cape Town's firefighters.

On Monday morning, the City of Cape Town briefed the media on the labour dispute and the impact on fire and rescue operations.

The pay dispute is related to the amount firefighters are paid for being on standby.

Cape Town firefighters are demanding a 79.23% monthly allowance, which is the amount they are paid for being on standby relative to their base salaries.

The figure is currently at 22.8%, which equates to about R4,400 for a firefighter earning around R19,300 a month.

The city's JP Smith says this will cost the city more than R130 million.

“The additional ask of some 79% or so or calculating the allowance as overtime instead will have very dire financial implications of around about R130 million excess salaries that we will need to find in the budget.”

The city has before presented a 30% offer, but South African Municipal Workers' Union has rejected this.

Firefighters earn between R13,000 and R30,000 thousand per month.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)