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Union hands over memorandum

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“The premier said that the number of government departments must be reduced, resulting in the merger of the departments of Agriculture and Nature Conservation."

Members of Nehawu handed over a memorandum to the MEC for Agriculture, Land Reform, Rural Development, Environment and Nature Conservation yesterday. Picture: Soraya Crowie

MEMBERS of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) handed over a memorandum of grievances to the Northern Cape MEC for Agriculture, Land Reform, Rural Development, Environment and Nature Conservation, Nomadla Bloem, yesterday after the workers held a picket at the department.

The branch secretary of the union, Bonny Mogopi, said that the issues raised in the memorandum pertained to conducive working conditions, the misuse of government property and the promotion of certain employees.

“The premier said that the number of government departments must be reduced, resulting in the merger of the departments of Agriculture and Nature Conservation. The merger was done correctly, however, the managers feel they own the merger and do not include the union in the decision-making process. The union represents the workers, yet it has been excluded,” said Mogopi.

She said that those who spoke out were threatened. “Some of our members are victimised when they speak out against what is happening in the department. There are people who are misusing the resources and nothing is being done about that. Some people were transferred but are now sitting idle in positions that they did not apply for. This has been carrying on for some time and urgent intervention is required to end this.”

Bloem told the union members that she was not aware of any dispute but would respond to the memorandum by the end of the working week.

“I will sit down and go through the memorandum in order to see where I need to respond. I will have a response by Friday. I will have a meeting with the union as they have alleged that there are some managers who refused to respond to their grievances. I do not want to thumb suck in my response. However, I want everyone to be satisfied in their working environment as some of these issues are affecting the lives of people,” said Bloem.