Prison service equity meeting on cards

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People gather outside the Labour Court in Loop Street, Cape Town to protest employment equity laws. File picture: Jason Boud

Cape Town - The correctional services department will meet Solidarity next week to discuss an employment equity court ruling, the trade union said on Friday.

Solidarity fair labour practices head Dirk Groenewald said the department abided by the union's request to make contact before the close of business on Friday, or face a contempt of court application.

The department sent an e-mail around 2.30pm asking the union to meet it at the department's head office in Pretoria at 10am on Wednesday.

“We will attend the meeting on Wednesday and if they do not comply with the ruling or we are not satisfied, then we will proceed with filing our papers,” Groenewald said.

In February, the Cape Town Labour Court ruled that the department had to abide by an order in October to consider both national and regional demographics in recruiting and promoting staff.

The department argued that the ruling need not be implemented as it had launched an appeal.

Judge Anton Steenkamp said at the time that the court's previous ruling in favour of Solidarity would be implemented and enforced pending the appeal.

“Should the court order be implemented pending appeal, service delivery will not be adversely affected,” Steenkamp said in his judgment.

“On the other hand, should permanent appointments be made with regard to national demographics only, coloured employees and applicants for appointment will be irreparably compromised.”

Solidarity had approached the court for urgent interim relief after it seemed the department had advertised 195 permanent positions, for which some of its coloured members had applied.

Subsequent to being granted relief, Solidarity had threatened to take the department back to court because it seemed it was not abiding by the ruling.

The main court application was launched by 10 Western Cape correctional services officials who felt disadvantaged by the department's employment equity plan.

Sapa


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