Eastern Cape talks to striking paramedics

2012-11-22 10:46

Johannesburg - The Eastern Cape health department said on Wednesday it was hopeful striking paramedics would soon return to work.

Spokesperson Siyanda Manana said the department earlier held talks with workers' representatives.

"They have agreed to go back and engage with their members and persuade them to return to work," said Manana.

The strike was prompted by issues relating to overtime, performance bonuses, salaries and discrepancies in salaries.

"The main issue was the performance management and development system, and we are addressing it and looking into paying out the benefits."

Manana said some of the workers had not been paid this money since 2006.

By Wednesday afternoon, the department reported that the strike had mostly affected the Nelson Mandela, Chris Hani, Mthatha and Mathole municipalities.

Meanwhile, the SA Communist Party in the province called on the department to speedily resolve the matter.

"This has a direct... [effect] on the public health system and therefore harbours a huge potential of compromising the health of the ordinary people in the province, as many of the workers and the poor... rely on public healthcare system," said spokesman Siyabonga Mdodi.

The party also criticised the provincial health department for using private ambulance companies.

"This action by the department will do nothing but plunge both the department of health and the provincial government in[to] more financial problems," said Mdodi.

The provincial health department recently received 60 new ambulances from the national department of health.

  • michael.horton.566790 - 2012-11-22 10:52

    It’s really sad that even our most crucial emergency workers are on strike! The sooner we get Zuma and his thieving corrupt cronies out of office, the better! We need to start rebuilding this country and it’s economy for the better of everyone!

      jack.blacking.56 - 2012-11-22 11:39

      Have your right to comment...

  • kala.bafazi - 2012-11-22 10:57

    They should be fired. It is illegal for essential services personel to go on strike. How many lives are put at risk while they toi toi down the streets?

      mikenortje - 2012-11-22 11:10

      Yep you work without being paid what is rightfully yours since 2006 and see how long you take before you strike. It's the incompetent government that has allowed this to drag on for years and years, pay them what you owe them, then you won't have this problem.

  • yolanda.bezuidenhoutfraser - 2012-11-22 11:06

    If a paramedic/nurse/doctor strike, they need to be fired immediately and their registration cancelled permanently. They don't deserve to serve the people. They the worst of the worst that will say they had to use an air ambulance to go sort out a dispute and the patients can die. If you mother/father/husband/wife/child is the one dying? Who do you call??? The striking emergency workers? There is a law that prohibits them from striking. Typical South african culture...screw the law.

      aspruyt - 2012-11-22 11:56

      Even the military strikes, don't be naïve, SA is going down the potty at an accelerated rate.

      Rob.Gill.03 - 2012-11-22 12:35

      To what degree should ones preofessional loyalty be taken for granted? Waiting 6 years for monies that are rightfully yours? The buck has to stop somewhere. It's not fair to discriminate against one group (medical and paramedical professionals) and expect their loyalty to be greater than other groups in the face of unfair practices, like in this case. If everyone did their work and government servants worked with passion and not just for a paycheque, we wouldn't need to face these issues.

  • andre.potgieter.5 - 2012-11-22 11:33

    In RSA everything is possible, notwithstanding the Labour Act. Even the ARMU went on strike a few months ago! But, it seems, when the Government puts a Law into place, they think they can treat certain categories of workers like sh@t... Yes, these people do an essential service. Pay them for what they are worth and for what they are doing!! Dan we, the PUBLIC in general, go without them? NO !!!

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