NUPSAW MEMBERS MARCH AGAINST ILL-TREATMENT
By: Thulasizwe Nkomo
Emergency Medical Rescue Services employees took to the street in the Durban CBD today, marching for their rights against the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health.
EMRS workers represented by National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (NUPSAW) marched from the Louis Botha Park to the City hall to hand over a memorandum of grievances to the office of the department.
Sfiso Dlamini, a union official at NUPSAW, said that they are protesting for the unfairly dismissal of at least 20 workers represented by the union as well as long working hours.
‘’Workers are on duty 173 hours instead of 160 hours, meaning there are 13 hours extra and yet we are not paid for working overtime,’’ said Dlamini.Addressing the crowed at Botha Park earlier today, Dlamini said that they are willing to be dismissed, jailed and even killed because they will not back down but will fight for what is
right for the workers.
He added that they will be expecting a response as soon as tomorrow. NUPSWA General Secretary in KZN, Success Mataitsane said that they have been fighting
these issues with the department since 2013 and made similar request 14 days ago.
“This time if we don’t get a response tomorrow we will then consider taking the legal route,” he added.
Dumisani Nyembe a manager at labour relations collected the memorandum. Nyembe said, ‘’There is nothing to say at the moment beside the fact that we accepted the memorandum and is to be handed over to the department’’.
An EMRS employee working at uThukela District, Sphiwe Khenyeza, said “Government officials should be working 40 hours a week but they are on duty more than that duration with no additional salary.”
Among other complaints was the appointment of legal attorneys by the department to conduct internal disciplinary hearings and danger allowances which they received in 2013 as a once off payment not a back pay.