Denosa said nurses, including theatre nurses throughout the Province were encouraged to wear their pyjamas to work to voice their dissatisfaction.
Nurses in the Northern Cape wore pyjamas and civilian clothes to work on Friday, due to the non-payment of uniform allowances
They indicated that the annual allowance was barely enough to cover the cost of one uniform set.
“We have to buy at least two sets as our uniforms need to be washed regularly and if the material tears before the year is up, we are expected to buy another set at our own expense. The allowance is also supposed to cover the costs of shoes but it doesn’t stretch that far.”
Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) provincial secretary Anthony Vassen said nurses, including theatre nurses throughout the Province were encouraged to wear their pyjamas to work to voice their dissatisfaction.
“The uniform allowance of R2 900 is supposed to be paid every year so that nurses can replace broken or worn uniforms. No reason was provided for the non-payment and we do not believe that it can be due to budgetary constraints.”
He indicated that labour unions wanted the Department of Health to provide uniforms to nurses instead of paying them an annual uniform allowance.
“Clothing is expensive and nurses struggle to fund the costs even if they do receive the allowance. Nurses will continue to wear civilian clothes and pyjamas until the uniform allowance is paid.”
Vassen added that they had requested more details on outstanding overtime pay dating back to 2019.
“It is very stressful during a time when nurses are sacrificing time away from their families to attend to patients. It is disheartening that they are not being remunerated for their sacrifices and they feel as if their services are not valued. Nurses cannot work overtime in return for time off as there is a critical shortage of staff and there is no one to fill their place.”
He pointed out that nurses were entitled to refuse to work overtime in the absence of overtime pay.
“Technically the obligation to work overtime falls away if the employer does not compensate workers – where the contract falls away. ”
The Department of Health did not respond to media enquiries.