NEHAWU North West To Declare A Dispute On Community Healthcare Workers

NEHAWU North West To Declare A Dispute On Community Healthcare Workers

Thursday March 19, 2020

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] in the North West Province has taken a decision to withdraw the item of the Community Health Workers [CHWs] from the negotiation table at the Public Health and Social Development Sectoral Bargaining Council [PHSDSBC] based on the unwillingness by the employer in resolving it and negotiating in bad faith.

In a meeting convened on the 12th March 2020 NEHAWU consulted other trade unions on the matter before withdraw it as an agenda item. The following steps shall be taken as a way forward:

  • We will formally lodge a dispute with the employer to get the matter resolved before a Commissioner. Should this be not successful we will explore other option which might also include a strike action.
  • We will immediately start mobilising our members while balloting for a strike action.

Community Healthcare Workers work selflessly and tirelessly to provide healthcare services especially to the working class and the poor. They go beyond the call of duty and in most cases they assist children and the elderly. Even with the outbreak of the corona virus they continue to do their work which includes assisting those who are less fortunate. It is for these reasons that we find it unacceptable for government to treat these workers with sheer disdain. After countless deliberations the employer has dismally failed to address the following:

  • Progress on UIF
  • Intimidation and exploitation by Managers
  • Appointment of private companies as Outreach Team Leaders [OTLS]
  • Provision of uniform
  • Exclusion and discrimination of CHWs in the processes of permanent posts recruitment
  • Absorption of CHWs on permanent employment
  • The stipend increment since integration to minimum wage
  • General conditions of employment including working tools.

NEHAWU remains committed in resolving these issues on behalf of our members and we will not tire until they are resolved in favour of our members. However, we refuse to engage government continuously without any success hence we are looking at other avenues to try and twist the arm of the employer to accede to our demands. In this regard, the Department of Health has 30 days to ensure that these matters are resolved and avoid the looming rolling mass action by Community Health Workers in the province.


We also note the unpalatable behaviour of the negotiators of the Department of Social Development in the same chamber. NEHAWU will make a determination on the long standing issues that the department has failed to resolve including the continuous display of arrogance by management. Similarly, the issues and their lifespan qualifies to be lodged as a dispute, however, we will make a determination very soon and pronounce in the next chamber meeting scheduled for 8th April 2020. We cannot be held at ransom by individuals who fail to implement decisions of the chamber and remain mum at the expense of our members. Therefore, the April Chamber meeting shall define the way forward on Social Development.

Issued by NEHAWU North West Provincial Secretariat
Patrick Makhafane (NEHAWU North West Provincial Secretary) at 018 381 4585 - 082 455 2486

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