Services at the Department of Home Affairs may be disrupted on Friday as employees affiliated to National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (NUPSAW) will embark on a strike due to labour disputes.
Spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete said the dispute was with employees who operated the front offices on Saturdays but had not been yet been paid overtime.
“When the new system of working on Saturdays was introduced, officials were paid overtime. However, due to the department’s financial constraints, payment of overtime for employees working on Saturdays was no longer financially sustainable,” he said.
To continue providing the Saturday service to the public, the department decided to introduce a new shift system for front office clerks to ensure they still work a 40-hour week.
He said the department and the unions engaged on the issue which resulted in the dispute being heard and pending before the Constitutional Court.
“To this end, the unions suggested that the mediation process could not be facilitated by the department and therefore proposed that an independent facilitator be appointed by the GPSSBC (General Public Service Sector Bargaining Council).”
The department, however, was of the view that the protest action was premature as the matter was still pending before the Constitutional Court.
“Through the leadership of the Minister, the department, within gravely constrained budgets, is trying to give South Africans the quality service that they deserve.”