Unions urge doctors to end strike

2009-04-24 00:00

The bargaining council representing doctors and the Health Department has been in negotiations over an agreement over the doctors’ strike in Limpopo, Gauteng, and Eastern Cape.

Cosatu and the Democratic Nurses’ Organisation (Denosa) have urged the doctors to return to work.

The SA Medical Association (Sama) said in a statement yesterday the Health Department has tabled a proposal around salary structures and working conditions for public sector doctors, dentists, pharmacists and emergency medical staff.

Sama said it distances itself from the strike, calling it “premature”. “We once again call on public sector doctors to suspend any form of industrial action for the sake of their patients, and provide this process a chance within the time limits as agreed with the department …”

Denosa urged the striking doctors to respect the bargaining processes and return to work. It told the government the strike denies ordinary South Africans access to health and “weighs heavily on nurses”.

Cosatu urged the parties to “speedily conclude negotiations”, calling on the doctors on the “unprotected strike to give the negotiations a chance and immediately return to work to serve South Africans in general, the working class and the poor in particular who are suffering as the result”.

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