Striking Eastern Cape nurses back at work

2012-03-10 22:49

Mthatha - Nursing staff who abandoned their posts at the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha returned to work on Saturday, the Eastern Cape health department said.

"The nurses consulted their unions and decided to accept the ultimatum and returned to work," said spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo.

Earlier, he said the nurses had until Sunday to report to work or face dismissal.

Twenty patients had been transferred to another hospital after nurses abandoned their posts on Friday night.

Night duty allowances

This was after they held two hospital managers hostage over night duty allowances.

The nurses, who were not armed, locked them in a boardroom at around 11:00.

Kupelo said a list of nurses qualifying for the allowance had been submitted, but had to be re-submitted when it was found to contain mistakes.

"It was detected that the list was fraudulent. There were names of people who were on leave at the time," he said. He said when nurses were told in a meeting that they would not be paid by Monday, they got angry and locked two managers in a boardroom.

Another group went to wards and ordered nurses out to attend a meeting.

"Nurses who were reporting for night duty were ordered out, leaving patients without nurses."

Abandoned posts

He said nurses abandoned their posts except those in the maternity ward and intensive care unit.

"Today [Saturday] as we speak, all nurses have reported for work including those who are on night shift, we suspect their intention is not to work the night shift," he said.

He said labour union National Education, Health and Allied Union was holding a meeting with the nurses on Saturday, to warn them about the danger of their "wildcat" strike.

Kupelo said departmental officials from Bisho had been sent to the hospital in a bid to manage the problem.

- Are you there? Were you affected? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

  • kgomotso.radise - 2012-03-10 23:37

    Health & Education department in Eastern Cape Province are decayed to the core, they are both in ICU. By the look of status quo drastic measure are not in place to uproot these problems that are perpetuating

  • rajeshsood - 2012-03-10 23:43

    On the basis of this article it seems as if the nurses are at fault. I am sure there is more to this story. Why was the list fraudulent, if nurses come back from leave then they should get the night allowance as you are supposed to get full salary on annual leave.

  • seanpresherhughes_1 - 2012-03-11 02:36

    No wonder the country's jobless rate is so high, it is because lazy pricks like these who'are not willing to work are withholding jobs from those who are really keen to earn an honest living - fired the lot of them forever, theynare obviously useless atbwhast the Ry do anyway. They have absolutely zero compassion for their essential-type job where they play with people's lives! This is totally and utterly unacceptable! They chose to be in this profession knowing very well what to expect in terms of what their contracts depicted and obviously that they should have a passion for this type of job. Yes it is a job for people who would either hate it or be very passionate about it if hy ever cared and are compassionate to people and their health etc. This was their choice to be recruited in this profession, if they don't like it fire them so that they can sit at home and allow their consciences (if the Ry ever had any) to bug them and sit there and hope that they weould never ever get ill and get the treatment that they neglected to provide their patients with! And for those involved in the hostage drama should have been arrested for a criminal offence, charged, and if found guilty, never to see the daylight shine upon their faces again.There are many people out there who are sitting without jobs who are more than adequitly qualified as nurses/sisters etc that cannot find work - give them a chance to provide for their families and to show these arrogant strikers!

  • jenny.gormanandrews1 - 2012-03-11 03:34

    Todays nurses leave much to be desired. Some of the young ones are only there for a salary. they don't care and sleep on night dutytake long tea breaks during the day and don't do the regular work like pressure care and turnings, unless pushed by the charge sister. Some even guess what a patients temperature is and write that figure down on the Temp charts!!! I'm not making this up--I'm a registered Nurse with recent experience in a State Hospital. Some nurses cannot understand English and look at the person giving instructions as if that person is speaking an alien tongue from another planet.

  • Antoinette De Klerk Britnor - 2012-03-11 07:18

    If you are nursing for a fat salary then you are in the wrong profession! Nursing is a calling! A true nurse will not strike, she\\he will be dedicated to their profession and will never jeopardize the lives of their patients. I suggest that those striking nurses find a profession that will suit them to strike for more money elsewhere! I salute the non-striking nurses!

  • Timothy - 2012-03-11 07:56

    So all the focus is on the reason for the strike instead of the fact that people are allowed hold someone hostage without consequence, this is unacceptable! They should be jailed!

  • clivegoss - 2012-03-11 08:45

    Ag baie dankie tog dat julle so gaaf is om terug te kom. Bloody cheek ! ! Diciplinary procedure as per the law must take place , and then and only then, those guilty should be dismissed, and never ever be re employed as "nursing" staff , or any government position for that matter. Clearly an insidious group of people

  • SALife - 2012-03-11 09:10

    There is no excuse for a nurse to voluntary go on strike. This just speaks to the prevailing lack of attitude and commetment out there.

  • Jacqui - 2012-03-11 12:19

    To hell with the sick, where's my money?.

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