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Nehawu Plans Big National Strike For Healthcare Workers

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Some healthcare workers have beeen working throughout the lockdown without receiving allowances. The Health Department has been called out for failing these frontline workers. 

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) is calling for community healthcare workers to receive permanent employment, better pay and better working conditions. 

Nehawu general-secretary, Zola Saphetha said with the rising cases of Covid-19 infections, healthcare workers will be called on to help hospitals care for patients. 

"The government cannot continue to exploit these workers without remunerating them decent salaries and not the meagre R3500 they have been subjected to for years."

The Union will be marching to deliver a memorandum with a list of demands for the national Health Department as well as the provincial health departments. 

'NEHAWU is more than prepared to intensify the fight for the permanent absorption of all Community Health Workers with full employment benefits that are enjoyed by other public servants, like pension fund, medical aid benefits, housing allowance etc." said the union in a statement.

The strike comes after national and provincial Health Departments failed to engage with unions about making community healthcare workers permanent government employees. 

Nehawu is also demanding for community healthcare workers to have full employment benefits that are similar to government employees. The union wants their conditions of services to fall under the Public Service Act with immediate effect.

"Failure to respond positively to our demands (within seven days) will leave us with no option but to intensify the strike and render the system ungovernable."

Nehawu has given government 7 days to respond to these demands as the national strike is scheduled to go ahead on Thursday. 

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