Gauteng health dept claims no nurses 'due for retrenchment' as more than 50 await salaries

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Denosa accused the health department of ill-treating nurses and failing to pay salaries.
Denosa accused the health department of ill-treating nurses and failing to pay salaries.
PHOTO: Darren Stewart, Gallo Images
  • The Gauteng health department says no nurses will be retrenched in the province.
  • Trade union Denosa has accused the department of planning to retrench nurses.
  • More than 50 nurses in Gauteng are awaiting their salaries.

The Gauteng Department of Health has denied reports that it is retrenching nurses.

On Sunday, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) accused the department of planning to retrench nurses.

The union accused the department of ill-treating nurses and failing to pay their salaries.

The organisation threatened to down tools after the department failed to pay the salaries of trainee nurses.

"Denosa in Gauteng strongly condemns this inhumane and heartless conduct meted [out to] nurses by the department. Young nurses haven't been paid their salaries for nearly a quarter of a year," Denosa spokesperson Simphiwe Gada said.

Gada said the union was planning a mass demonstration and would lobby other unions.

Gada added:

Our fight is not directed at South Africans. We encourage South Africans who are health activists to come and join us.

Gauteng health department spokesperson, Motalatale Modiba, promised that officials would continue working with stakeholders to address challenges that had been identified.

Modiba said the department remained committed to ensuring that the health system had the necessary staffing capacity to continue rendering much-needed services to communities.

Outstanding salaries

Modiba said:

The department can confirm that no nurses are due for retrenchment. All the professional community service nurses for the 2021-22 financial year will be retained and appointed permanently.

"The process to effect the appointments is under way. Post-community service nurses and the community service nurses whose salary payments have been outstanding, the matter has been resolved. The affected nurses will be receiving their salaries by 4 July."

Modiba added that just more than 50 employees were affected.

Forty-five of them would be paid on Monday, while the mandates of seven others needed to be corrected, Modiba said.

READ | Gauteng doctor reinstated after industry backlash, dept vows to tackle poor state of hospitals

"Their salaries will be urgently processed upon addressing the related administrative issues," he claimed.

The department has apologised to the affected employees for the inconvenience caused, according to Modiba.

"As part of a long-term intervention, the department will be working with multilateral stakeholders to review its training strategies versus its staffing needs to ensure that there is synergy between supply and demand. And to also address some of the systematic issues plaguing the health system."

Modiba said the department was committed to engaging with Denosa and other key stakeholders to address the issues confronting the health system and the department at large.

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