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​2011-09-15: EMS strike ends. City takes steps to address grievances

THE City of Johannesburg confirms that the strike by SAMWU members employed of its Emergency Management Services (EMS) has been called off after taking pro-active steps to address certain issues raised by EMS workers in a meeting with the SA Municipal Workers' Union (SAMWU) today (Wed).

Though all services rendered by EMS were not adversely impacted by the strike, full services will be resumed according to normal schedules with immediate effect. 
The MMC for Public Safety, Matshidiso Mfikoe, met with representatives from the union on Tuesday (13/9) to discuss the issues that led to the industrial action by EMS workers.

An agreement was reached that most of the issues raised are of an operational nature and can be resolved through normal internal channels and in fact, some of the issues were already being addressed through the city's due processes. MMC Mfikoe undertook to track these issues on on-going basis and share information with employees and union representatives on a regular basis.

One of the thorny issues concern alleged irregular payment of R100 000 overtime to the acting head of EMS, Mr. Tshepo Makola for his contribution during the 2010 World Cup, was  referred to the in-coming City Manager Mr Trevor Fowler. He will  deal with matter when he officially assumes duty in October 2011.

The Union undertook to provide evidence of allegations made to support this allegation to the incoming City Manger as soon as possible and the internal processes would then resume under his leadership.

Mr. Makola will remain in his position as Acting Head while the City concludes its recruitment process to appoint a permanent Head of the EMS or while the investigation into allegations made by SAMWU is finalised.

MMC Mfikoe thanked all the parties for their contribution in resolving the dispute. "I want to express my appreciation to the many EMS workers who continued to perform their duties during the strike," she said.

"I am pleased to say that all EMS services are back to normal," she says. "The City remains committed to provide quality emergency services to its residents and stakeholders. I am convinced that our agreement with the union will enable us to meet this objective."

Issued by:
Gabu Tugwana
Communication Director
Public Liaison Department
City of Johannesburg
Office of the Executive Mayor
Tel: 011 407-7162
Fax: 011 339-1531
Cell: 082 495 5673