The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] in the Limpopo Province is unhappy with the continuous and uninterrupted decline of working conditions of workers in the Limpopo Department of Health. While workers have for many years tolerated shortage of personnel and material resources, things have now gone worse since workers’ benefits are not paid.
The department still refuses to pay performance bonus to workers for financial year 2016/17. These are benefits which were supposed to have been paid by July 2017 but the department has been playing hide and seek, ducking and diving avoiding their obligation to pay workers benefits. The department is required to pay workers R164 million as performance bonus but they only want to pay a paltry R90 million which is an insult to workers.
On the 10th April 2018, the Limpopo Department of Health tabled a budget of R19, 5 billion which is an increase from R18, 6 billion but two months later the department pleads poverty that it can’t pay workers their benefits. This is an exploitation of catastrophic proportion that if left unchallenged workers in this department will not get their monthly salaries. We warned the department last year that they must ring fence money for the payment of benefits for workers so that workers shouldn’t have to negotiate payment of their benefits but the department did otherwise and went and spent workers money on other things.
Our anger towards the department is further exacerbated by the fact that all the departments in the Province have already concluded payment of workers benefits for the 2016/17 financial year, but it’s only the department of health which arrogantly refuses to pay workers their hard earned Performance Bonuses but yet insists that health is an essential service.
These poor working conditions have resulted in the low morale of workers across the province and will definitely result in the total collapse of the public healthcare system in this province if it were to be allowed to continue. Performance bonuses are not a favour to workers but it’s a right that must be fulfilled by the employer in line with Performance Management and Development System policy provisions.
We must indicate that workers have now lost trust on boardroom engagements because the employer has completely failed to address our issues. The department is now deliberately pushing workers over the edge and risk plunging the whole department into a crisis of unimaginable proportion.
The MEC Phophi Ramathuba must stand up and intervene before it’s too late. In her intervention she must finally also address conclusively the following outstanding challenges with immediate effect:
1. Non-payment of overtime.
2. Grade progression for all health professionals.
3. Consistent translation of nurses who acquired post-graduate qualification with back pay.
4. Appointment of 108 non-bursary holders’ community service nurses who are currently roaming the streets while there is shortage of professional nurses in hospital and clinics.
5. Absorption of community health workers as full time employees of the department.
In the same vein we are still calling on the Premier and his provincial government to withdraw itself from its self-imposed administration and withdraw Treasury note 7 of 2017 and treasury notes 1&2 of 2018 and do away with austerity measures that are collapsing the public service in the province. The union has already started mobilizing its members for mass action which will culminate in a huge march towards MEC of Health, MEC of Treasury and the Premier’s office.
Issued by NEHAWU Limpopo
For further information, please contact: Jacob Adams @ 082 558 5966 or
email: email@example.com Visit NEHAWU website: www.nehawu.org.za