Nehawu agrees to have McCord court order extended

2013-10-10 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) yesterday agreed to the extension of the interim court order issued by the Labour Court to prevent the board of McCord Hospital board from retrenching staff.

The order was granted after the hospital board announced that the facility would close down due to lack of funds for operational costs.

The order was granted last month and was effective until yesterday.

Union spokesperson Zola Saphetha said the order has now been extended to November 23.

“The two parties have found each other on two issues, which are the 100% takeover of the facility by the department, and the R20 million the board wanted to keep in their account, to cover them for any future claims that might arise.

“It was agreed that the money will remain in the department’s account and should any claims arise within a certain period of time, the department will handle those. Other than that there is no signed and sealed deal, so we as the union will not back down on our court interdict,” said Saphetha.

He said there were more issues that needed to be ironed out between the parties.

“There’s no licence to operate the facility. There’s a legal-medical process to be finalised by a technical team which was put together by the department and the board,” he said.

A source within the hospital said both parties are engaged in ongoing discussions.

“They had a meeting even yesterday. They are working hard to find a working solution on the matter,” said the source.

Dr Jay Mannie, the hospital’s medical manager, said they asked the union to apply for an extension of the court order. “My feeling is that by the end of next week, we will have a positive outcome from the meetings between the two parties.”

Health Department spokesperson Sam Mkhwanazi referred The Witness back to a joint statement that was issued last month. In that statement, the department and the hospital board said joint technical and legal teams, with representatives from government and McCord Hospital, were established to finalise the takeover process and transfer of staff to the department.

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