'Technical glitch' delays Gauteng health workers' overtime pay, says health MEC

2020-04-29 10:46
Gauteng MEC for Health Bandile Masuku.

Gauteng MEC for Health Bandile Masuku. (Palesa Dlamini.)

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Due to a "technical glitch", Gauteng health department staff will not receive their commuted overtime pay on time, Health MEC Bandile Masuku said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a briefing with Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, and MECs from all provinces, Masuku said his team was trying to resolve the issue.

"The treasury department and our department's HR (human resources) are working 24 hours to make sure that glitch is resolved.

"We do value very much the role that our healthcare workers are playing in carrying the health system," Masuku said.

But Young Nurses Indaba Trade Union (YNITU) general secretary Rich Sicina told News24 that the issue was not new, adding that he hadn't received overtime pay since February.

Ongoing issue

"What exactly is wrong, they can't tell us," he said.

"I worked overtime in November but was only paid in February… It was just for the first time that [the department] went so far as to write a letter.

"We thought maybe even our basic salary won't come. We don't know what is happening," Sicina said.

He added that nurses' overtime pay made a difference in their salaries.

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"That is why nurses work so much overtime, because our basic salary is nothing," he said.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic hit South Africa, Sicina said nurses were limited to working two overtime days a month.

During the lockdown, however, they are told that they can work as much overtime as they can, Sicina, who is also a nurse, said.

"Our first worry was to say how are you going to pay if you can't pay us for the two days?"

Backlog

Sicina added that concerns were raised about an overtime backlog and about how it would be paid out.

"If I go as far as working six days a month, how are you going to pay that overtime? Where is that money?

"The reason why [they] have limited overtime is because [they] are always saying there is no money. Now what happened? Where is that money to pay for this overtime," Sicina asked.

Read more on:    bandile masuku  |  johannesburg ­  |  coronavirus  |  health
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