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Union takes on Dept of Health

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“We have noted that the people who are acting in certain positions only do so to make money. These individuals neglect service delivery and the needs of the community.”

THE NATIONAL Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) in the Frances Baard region yesterday handed a memorandum to the provincial Department of Health, outlining its grievances with basic work conditions and the appointment of certain officials.

The union stated that it has taken a “blood on the floor” approach to address challenges within the department to ensure the rights of communities are not violated and that workers have a conducive workplace.

In the memorandum, the union called for the immediate insourcing of outsourced services, the removal of the head of department and the chief financial officer (CFO), the immediate filling of key vacant posts and the payment of allowances.

“We call upon the employer to stop extending the contracts of the cleaning staff, gardening staff and the security staff. The department needs to insource these employees into the system, said Nehawu branch secretary Gaorekwe Seagise.

He also called for the heads of department officials who are not productive to roll.

“We have noticed that the department is deteriorating on a daily basis under the leadership of the HOD, the CFO, and the chief director of the department. We therefore call on the department to remove these individuals as they are failing to perform and maladminister the department.

“We also want the removal of all the labour relations officers from the chambers as they make negotiations difficult, which results in the union being unable to make resolutions or take the workers and the department’s interests forward.”

Seagise said that temporarily-filled positions need to be permanently filled in order to not only create jobs but for the department to function optimally.

“We have noted that the people who are acting in certain positions only do so to make money. These individuals neglect service delivery and the needs of the community.

“The position of CEO needs to be permanently filled urgently as we cannot work with a person who runs the hospital as his private surgery and takes decisions without consulting the union at branch level. We have noted that the department has a huge vacancy rate as posts in all categories are deliberately not filled after employees resign, pass away or resign.”

The union said it would give the department seven days to address its concerns.

It threatened to strike if the concerns were not addressed.

Northern Cape Department of Health spokesperson Lebogang Majaha acknowledged receipt of the memorandum and stated they will study it and respond accordingly.