Union begins picketing at Netcare facilities

2010-05-26 09:43

Health workers were picketing at Netcare hospitals in four

provinces today due to dissatisfaction with a wage offer.

Picketing had started

at three hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal, one hospital in Gauteng, two in the Free

State and one in the Eastern Cape, said Health and Other Services Personnel

Trade Union SA (Hospersa) general secretary Noel Desfontaines.

Hospersa said it had recently declared a dispute with management of

the private hospital group and although it had permission to strike, it would

start with pickets.

“We have permission to strike but have opted to picket. Nurses said

‘look we don’t really want to inconvenience patients, let’s see if picketing

will help’,” said Desfontaines.

Workers wanted a 12% salary increase while the company was prepared

to pay 8.5%.

He said that based on the profit that Netcare had shown in its last

set of results, it could have increased its offer.

In May Netcare reported a 28.4% increase in adjusted basic headline

earnings per share to 42.9 cents, for the six months to the end of March.

However, the company said that in both the South African and the UK

operations, group revenue was down five percent to R11.038?million due to rand


Netcare was also planning a number of expansion projects over the

next three years.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union, the

Democratic Nursing Union and Solidarity had agreed to an 8.25% increase,

according to Netcare.

Non-unionised employees received the same increase.

Netcare said Hospersa had representation with 17% of Netcare’s

business units across 13 hospitals nationally.

It said that in addition to the 8.25% offer, there was also an

increase to the minimum salary of 13% and other adjustments to certain

categories of staff.

Further comment was not immediately available from Netcare.

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