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Community health workers still to sign contracts

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Community health workers were served with interdicts after they threatened to close down health facilities, where they are demanding to be permanently employed. Picture: Soraya Crowie

The workers want to be permanently absorbed by the Northern Cape Department of Health.

SEVERAL community health workers (CHWs) have not signed the 12-month contracts that were offered to them by the Northern Cape Department of Health.

The CHWs said on Thursday that they wanted to be permanently absorbed by the department and indicated that they first wanted to seek legal advice before signing any contracts.

The provincial organiser of the South African Liberated Public Sector Workers Union (Salipswu), Thapelo Thole, said that care workers were offered different contracts and salaries.

“Some of the letters indicate that care workers have been permanently employed since 2014. This is while they are only operating on a 12-month contract with an option to renew every year. They only receive stipends of R3,633 and being permanently employed implies that they receive a range of benefits. That is why their social grants were suspended. We are very disappointed,” said Thole on Thursday.

He added that the CHWs were not receiving an income in line with the national minimum wage of R21.69 per hour that was implemented as from March 1.

“It is an illegal and unfair labour practice for an employer to unilaterally alter hours of work or employment conditions.”

The Northern Cape Department of Health did not respond to media enquiries by the time of going to print.

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