McCord deal: Nehawu to meet with Health MEC

2013-09-30 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) will be meeting with provincial Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo tomorrow.

The purpose of the meeting, according to Nehawu spokesperson Zola Saphetha, is to seek details of the in-principle agreement between the department and Durban’s McCord Hospital board on the government’s total takeover of the 104-year-old establishment.

The agreement was reportedly signed last week.

Saphetha said Nehawu only heard about the agreement in news reports.

“We support the 100% government takeover of the hospital. We now need to get details of the terms of the agreement reached by the parties concerned. We hope that in our meeting the MEC will take us through the terms of this agreement.”

He said if the “package” accommodated issues such as securing the employees’ jobs, then all was fine.

“However, if we find that there are areas where we don’t feel that the deal is suitable for our members, then we are going ahead with our court action,” he said.

When the news recently broke that McCord’s board had decided to close down the facility, the union last week applied for an emergency interdict to stop the move. A labour court interim interdict on behalf of Nehawu prevented the board from retrenching staff.

“In October 9, we are going to court. But if the terms of agreement into the takeover is for the best of all concerned, then we won’t go ahead with the court proceedings. But if it is not, then we will consult with our lawyer for advice on the way forward,” said Saphetha.

In a joint statement on Friday, the department and the hospital board said joint technical and legal teams, with representatives from government and McCord Hospital, were established last week to work on the technical and legal details relating to the finalisation of the takeover process and the transfer of staff to the department.

The teams were appointed and commenced with their work on September 25.

Some of the terms of agreement were that an independent valuer agreeable to both parties would be appointed to value the hospital complex, so as to facilitate the 100% takeover.

Both the provincial government and the hospital board will work towards ensuring an outcome that will be in the best interest of all concerned.

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