Solidarity, police settle in landmark affirmative action case

2016-07-31 18:37
SAPS Memorial service Pretoria. (Thomas Hartleb, News24)

SAPS Memorial service Pretoria. (Thomas Hartleb, News24)

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Durban – Trade union Solidarity has welcomed a "landmark" settlement with the South African Police Service that would directly affect the promotion of more than 3 000 officers.

According to a statement released by Solidarity, the SAPS conceded its current Employment Equity Plan had to be amended following the recent Constitutional Court ruling in the trade union’s case against the department of correctional services (DCS).

In April 2016, Solidarity obtained an urgent interdict in the Labour Court to halt the promotion of the 3 000 SAPS members until the Constitutional Court had given a ruling on the lawfulness of the DCS’s Employment Equity Plan.

Solidarity chief executive Dr Dirk Hermann said the settlement also stipulated that more than 30 individual affirmative action cases against the SAPS would be investigated with a view to reaching a possible settlement.

A step forward

“This settlement is a huge step forward for Solidarity and its members as it would offer our members and other members of minority groups a better opportunity to be promoted as would have been the case had the targets in the SAPS’ current Employment Equity been used as criterion for promotions,” Hermann said. 

Earlier this year, the Labour Court found that the SAPS’ previous Employment Equity Plan (2010-2014) was unlawful and invalid as it imposed quotas.

According to Hermann, the current promotions would have been made on the basis of a similar plan.

“It was critical for us to stop promotions based on a plan similar to one that had already been invalidated until a more equitable process could be negotiated," he said.

"However, the settlement does not deprive us of the right to still lodge disputes on behalf of individuals who had been treated unfairly during the promotion process."

Read more on:    solidarity  |  saps  |  labour

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