MEMBERS OF HEALTH AND PUBLIC WORKS MARCH AGAINST WAGE CUTS
Written by: Elizabeth Kunene and Venal Naidu
Members of the Public Service and Allied Workers marched to the Durban City Hall today to protest against cuts in their wages.
Employees from the Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) and Forensic Pathologists from the Health Care Department marched from Louis Botha Park to the Durban City Hall in a bid to curb a decision that was made by various unions to allegedly decrease their salaries.
Spokesperson of the union, Eric Sifiso Dlamini, said that they are marching because various unions have signed a document that means less pay for the workers.
“The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU), Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA), National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and other relevant unions from national level have signed an agreement that reduces the salaries of employees,” said Dlamini.
The system now sees new rules being implemented in order to curb government expenditure.
“The salaries of employees were reduced from salary levels into grading systems. When they are comparing the grading system with the salary level, the salary level was paying more,” explained Dlamini.
The reason for the strike was also to fix a promise that was made 11 years ago, where unions were promised to be paid an extra allowance due to the hectic situations they find themselves in on a daily basis.
“The danger allowance was supposed to be paid from 2006 but the unions have only signed for 2013 and 2017 therefore workers are not happy with the action of their unions,” Dlamini added.
Khanyisile Shongwe who is a forensic pathology officer in Pongola, expressed her disappointment and anger towards unions and decisions made behind the workers back.
“Every month we pay these unions so they can stand for us and support us but they support the employers and make decisions behind our backs. People in my department get sick and their danger allowance is not paid out. This is an insult to all medical workers,” said Shongwe.
A representative from the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) received the memorandum at City Hall.
*Caption: The Department of Health workers during a protest against salary cuts.