Nehawu plans Budget day marches

2017-02-20 17:22
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. (Gallo, file)

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. (Gallo, file)

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Johannesburg - Members of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) will march in five provinces on Budget day, protesting against an increase in austerity measures that the union says will have a negative impact on low-income earners.

On Monday, the union announced that it would march to Parliament to deliver a memorandum of demands to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan ahead of his Budget speech on Wednesday.

Nehawu is concerned that Gordhan will increase austerity measures over and above those he has already imposed in previous Budget speeches.

"We are saying no to these austerity measures that are only targeted at the low-paid workers in the public service and state institutions," said Nehawu on Monday.

Nehawu general secretary Bereng Soke told News24 that workers were worried that adjustments on existing austerity measures would negatively impact them ahead of the negotiation season.

"Our agreement lasts until March and we will be affected by more stringent measures as we start negotiating for a new agreement," said Soke.

Denosa to join march

Nehawu will also be demanding that Gordhan gives an instruction for the freeze on vacant posts in the public sector to be lifted immediately.

"The closure of vacancies has created more work for fewer workers, whilst the rate of pay has remained the same," said the union.

It argued that filling vacancies and increasing pay would improve service delivery and boost morale.

Marches have also been organised in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape and the Eastern Cape.

In Gauteng, Nehawu will be joined by members of Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) in Tshwane. They will be marching to the Department of Health and the South African nursing council offices.

Denosa wants speedy and full implementation of the National Health Insurance scheme, nurse shortages to be addressed, problems with the payment of nurses and suppliers to be dealt with, and transformation of the South African nursing council.

Read more on:    nehawu  |  denosa  |  pravin gordhan  |  economy  |  labour action  |  protests

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