Parliament slams officers' court action over new bouncers as 'greedy, opportunistic'

2017-01-11 16:22
Parliament. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Parliament. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Parliament has expressed shock and dismay at reports that its protection officers were taking the institution to court.

The legal challenge was unwarranted action that bordered on irresponsibility on the part of the union and officials involved, the institution said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The legal challenge seems to be motivated by blatant greed, self-interest and opportunism of hoping to earn money for services that people do not have the requisite qualifications or competencies to do. They are not capacitated or willing to render the required services, nor do they perform such services."

This follows a City Press report that 69 protection officers had taken the national legislature to the Labour Court for unfair discrimination after Parliament speedily recruited officers from the SA Police Service in July 2015 to become part of its protection services to enforce a new rule which provided for disruptive MPs to be forcefully removed from the House.

Parliament on Wednesday said all due administrative processes were undertaken before the appointments were made.

This included the design and development of job descriptions, job evaluation and auditing, interviews and appropriate contracting of those appointed to the newly established positions of chamber support officers.

READ: Officers take Parliament to court

Parliament to file affidavits

"The positions are new, with no incumbency, and therefore questions of consultations on changing of job descriptions and requisite competencies could not arise. The union, as is our practice, was part of the verification of the job descriptions and the job evaluation."

According to the City Press, the 69 protection service officers have approached the Labour Court seeking an order which would force Parliament to remunerate them and provide them with the same terms and conditions of employment as the bouncers.

Alternatively they are seeking an order that they be paid the difference in remuneration for the period that the newly appointed chamber support officers were paid a higher remuneration package.

Parliament on Wednesday said the matter must be left to the courts to decide. It would be filing its answering affidavits within 10 days.

Parliament also denied all allegations "of unfairness, unilateral decisions, unfair reasons for disparities as well as 'capricious' processes and nepotism".

These were without any sound, rational or factual basis, and therefore should be rejected with contempt, the institution said on Wednesday.

Read more on:    parliament 2017  |  labour action

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