Union demands action

2016-09-14 06:00
THE marchers and Phumza Mdibe, acting head of management (right), listen to Moleme Moleme reading out the memorandum before it was signed.  Photo: Boipelo Mere

THE marchers and Phumza Mdibe, acting head of management (right), listen to Moleme Moleme reading out the memorandum before it was signed. Photo: Boipelo Mere

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THE National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) is threatening to bring the Northern Cape Department of Health to a standstill if its demands are not addressed immediately.

Union members marched to MEC Lebogang Motlhaping’s office on Friday (09/09) to hand over a memorandum og grievences.

Among the demands in the memorandum was that the head of the department, Liz Botes, and her team be removed.

It accused her of being wasteful, corrupt and also of nepotism.

The union was concerned that since Botes’s appointment there had been an influx of officials transferred from the Department of Social Development.

In the memorandum, she was accused of being arrogant, because she refused to meet to address members on issues with which they were unhappy.

The union also called for clarity regarding cost containment.

According to Moleme Moleme, branch secretary of Nehawu, the department continued to preach cost containment while it practiced the complete opposite.

“There is also the matter of outsourcing.

The funds used for this could have been used to buy equipment and medicines,” said Moleme.

He said staff also had to put up with terrible working conditions.

Their workload have been increased in the name of cost containment.

Among other concerns raised, were the issue of restructuring, which had created uncertainty and low staff morale.

Shouting “now we are at war,” the marchers emphasised that some of their grievances dated back to the previous administration.

They further called for the disbandment of the anti-corruption committee, which had allegedly led to victimisation of workers and unfair dismissals.

“This so-called anti-corruption committee is the reason why over ten departmental officials were suspended indefinitely.

“Those workers are now sitting at home for more than 60 days pending disciplinary hearings.”

“We call for the immediate reinstatement of all employees unfairly suspended and for the release of the much-awaited anti-corruption report.”

The union further called for the end of outsourcing in cases such as garden, security and kitchen services.

It highlighted that this had been in operation since May.

The implementation of insourcing of garden services had been done at a snail’s pace since the May agreement, the union said.

“We thus call on the employer to stop the outsourcing of garden services without delay and to employ people to render this service. We also seek clarity on the other services,” it was stated in the memorandum.

A call was also made with regard to the absorption of community health workers, who are regarded as an extension of the Department of Health.

“They provide much-needed services to our community, yet most of the time they work under unpleasant conditions,” continued Moleme.

Nehawu members confirmed that they would be on a go-slow at all their branches for seven days after handing over the memorandum.

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