Labour Court. Picture: George Herald
A crisis is looming at the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) as investigators threaten a strike over the police watchdog’s consistent failure to comply with a Labour Court order to pay more than R100 million in backdated salaries and benefits.
The court order, stemming from the provisions of Section 23 of the Ipid Act 1 of 2011 pertaining to the conditions of service of all investigators up to level 14, brings Ipid investigators onto the same salary and benefit levels as their SA Police Service (SAPS) counterparts.
The Act came into effect in April 2012 but the police watchdog failed to comply.
In August 2018, the investigators hauled Ipid, the police department, the public service and administration department and Treasury to the Labour Court to force the directorate to implement the provisions of the Act.
The application was unopposed and the parties reached an out-of-court agreement, which was made an order of the court – that Ipid would implement the provisions of the Act and backdate salaries and benefits to April 2012.
The investigators had to return to court last year after their employer failed to honour the agreement and the Labour Court in August gave the police watchdog 90 days to implement the provisions of the order and provide monthly progress reports to the court.
A senior investigator said: “The deadline for the implementation of the second order was 20 November. Again, our employer has failed us. The only language that government entities understand is a strike and that is exactly what we are going to do. This has caused a lot of frustrations and low morale.”
Ipid spokesperson Sontaga Seisa said they were committed to implementing Section 23 of the Ipid Act and subsequent court order but said factors, including funding, outside of their control contributed to the delay.
Others were Government Employees Pension Fund processes, engagements with the SAPS Medscheme on admitting Ipid investigators and the opening of salary bands by Treasury.
“Significant progress has been made. Ipid is addressing the final hurdles and will be ready to table a final offer to the chamber soon,” Seisa said.
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