Union warns of chaos in prisons

The Public Servants’ Association of South Africa (PSA) said on Wednesday that it foresaw chaos in the country’s prisons on weekends following failure of the Department of Correctional Services to compensate its employees who work on Saturdays and Sundays.


“The PSA’s continuous enquiries about the overtime payment of our members were met with promises that these payments would be made by the end of August 2007.


“To date, nothing has materialised and, understandably, employees are furious,” PSA deputy general manager Manie de Clercq said.


Prisons were heading for chaos if the department withheld the payments.


He said the union met with senior officials from correctional services on October 5 and the department undertook to pay employees before October 16 2007 to ensure that prisons were staffed over weekends.

Members were already being affected negatively by a situation where they worked 12 days in a 14-day cycle before any rest was granted, De Clercq said.


Correctional services spokesperson Manelisi Wolela said the matter was still under discussion with various stakeholders.


“The matter is being discussed with the unions, the Department of Public Service and Administration and the Treasury.


“We would therefore not like to discuss the issue in the public forum until an agreement has been reached,” Wolela said.


De Clercq said the PSA had declared a dispute on the application of the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council resolution 1/2007, which was submitted on October 11, so the matter could be dealt with in terms of the dispute-resolution procedures of the council.—Sapa


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