Paramedic strike prohibited

2013-02-14 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Health Department has secured an interim court order preventing para­medics from embarking on any strike action.

This after department head Dr Sibongile Zungu filed an affidavit in the Labour Court following the Emergency Medical Rescue Services’ (EMRS) strike late last month.

Last week, Zungu filed court papers stating that paramedics provided an essential service and were therefore not allowed to strike.

She wanted paramedics to be interdicted from participating in, promoting or inciting any unlawful strike action in support of their wage demands.

Zungu said the disruption resulted in delays in providing an essential service. Great additional expenses were incurred where the department had to use a helicopter, instead of an ambulance, to reach patients. In some instances, private ambulances and services had to be hired.

The Witness reported last month that paramedics in all 11 health districts in KZN were off sick.

Paramedics spokesperson Sifiso Dlamini said yesterday that some paramedics were on a go-slow.

He said they will provide proof that they were not on strike, but that they were on sick leave.

Dlamini said they were waiting for the outcome of a meeting Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo is to have with the unions on February 21 to discuss the paramedics’ concerns.

The labour court granted an interim order declaring the strike unlawful and unprotected. The matter will be heard in court on March 15.

• mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za

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