Home News Health workers’ strike action could be suspended this week

Health workers’ strike action could be suspended this week

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According to Nehawu provincial secretary, Stefan Cornelius, the chances are good that the strike will be suspended.

File image: Masi Losi

CHANCES are high that the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union’s national strike action will be suspended this week.

This follows continuous engagements between Nehawu and the Department of Health, with the department expected to provide a report regarding the union’s demands on Tuesday.

Nehawu has been demanding that the government permanently employs community health workers.

The Northern Cape provincial secretary of Nehawu, Stefan Cornelius, stated that an official announcement will be made to union members on Wednesday.

According to Cornelius, chances are good that the strike will be suspended, although the decision will be based on the response from the employer.

“We will technically suspend the strike based on the agreements with the employer,” said Cornelius.

The five-week long strike action has left many clinic patients struggling to obtain medical attention or to access their chronic medication.

Many clinics in Kimberley and the Northern Cape have been closed since the community health workers (CHWs) in the Province joined the national strike action, demanding to be permanently absorbed by the Department of Health.

Allegations have been made that the striking Nehawu members used force and threatened permanent staff members, preventing them from working.

With the majority of Kimberley’s clinics closed, desperate patients flocked to the Galeshewe Day Hospital and the Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital.

The Northern Cape Department of Health had served Nehawu with an interim interdict after they marched to the Office of the MEC and picketed at their doorstep.

Nehawu has dismissed the allegations and claims that its members never shut down any of the clinics.