Hospital security staff strike over pay

2017-12-15 06:00

SEVENTY security guards deserted their posts, leaving patients, staff, medical equipment and medicine at risk at
Murchison Regional Hospital (MRH).

The night and day shift guards gathered outside the hospital’s premises from 5am until 10am in protest over pay discrepancies.

They demanded that MRH management and their employers, Ithunzi Protection Services, address them.

Security guards told Fever they worked for Ithunzi, a company hired by the government to provide security at MRH.

Employees claim they have not received their salaries on time since
September. It is alleged Ithunzi has run into trouble with the South African Revenue­ Service.

A security guard, who asked not to be named, said: “We have not been getting the salary we used to get.”

Another one said he was unable to provide for his family because he was earning less than before.

“I now get R3 700 as opposed to the R4 100 I used to get.

“Our salaries change monthly yet we work the same hours. We don’t know what’s going on so we decided to protest.”

Another source told Fever the hospital has been without security for seven hours.

Ithunzi owner Vusi Duma, when contacted, said the strike was illegal and he will not address them outside the hospital. He said they were hired in his office not at the hospital gates.

“If they have issues they must come to the office and I will then discuss the matter with them. However, I don’t have money to pay them.”

Provincial health spokesman Ncumisa Mafunda said the department will look into the matter.

“We are concerned about the security of our patients and staff, so we have directed the company to quickly deal with the matter.”

Mafunda said the dispute over payment was between security guards and their employer. He said neither the department or the hospital was involved in the matter.

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