The nurses claim that they have not been paid for four months.
NURSES, who claim that they have not been paid for four months, marched to the offices of the Northern Cape MEC for Health, Maruping Lekwene, on Tuesday, calling for intervention regarding their unpaid salaries.
The nurses said that they are hungry and are expected to work hard since they were permanently absorbed by the Department of Health.
It is believed that about 69 qualified nurses in the Frances Baard District, who were absorbed between June and August 2021, were affected by non-payment.
Apparently some of them still needed to be issued with appointment letters.
Upon their arrival at the MEC’s office, the nurses were met by the management of the department instead of MEC Lekwene, whom they had been expecting.
Their union representatives from Denosa indicated that they were unable to engage with the MEC personally because he had other engagements.
They were informed that there was a technical glitch at the Treasury.
The explanation they received was that the Provincial Treasury has a soft lock on its system.
The department made a commitment that it is in the process of finalising the payment process with the Treasury.
The provincial secretary of Denosa, Gilbert Sak, said it was unacceptable for the system to have experienced a soft lock problem for the past four months but nothing was communicated to the workers.
Sak pointed out that the workers have been working under tremendous pressure and have not been given any consideration that they are not getting a salary.
He indicated that the department made a commitment to resolve the payment issues by this weekend.
“We can’t compromise in this regard,” said Sak.
“These people are breadwinners and they need to pay their bills.
“The department admitted that it is not for the first time that an attempt is being made to resolve this matter.
“There is something very wrong within this administration.
“Management once more made a commitment to submit another list of the unpaid employees to the Treasury.
Department spokesperson Lebogang Majaha confirmed that the department met with the affected nurses and respective unions regarding this matter.
“We are working with the Provincial Treasury in resolving this matter as soon as possible,” said Majaha.
Sak said that if the workers are still not paid by the end of this week, Denosa will engage Cosatu to take over the engagements, together with the MEC.
“We believe we have been negotiating in good faith, but if nothing has happened by next week we will start mobilising our structures.
“We are a responsible organisation that will not allow the patients to suffer. But the nurses can’t work on an empty stomach either.
“We hope the public will understand.”