earningsSowetanLive reports that even as the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital faces cancer treatment backlogs, radiation therapists are leaving the institution in droves because of disputed salary scales.

At least nine therapists have resigned in the past two years, leaving about 40 staff members to treat some 4,500 new cancer patients every year. The hospital's oncology department is the largest cancer unit in the country and apparently has a backlog of more than 250 patients, some of whom have been waiting to receive radiation treatment from as far back as 2016. The department of health has, however, denied the backlog claims. The department and 23 radiation therapists have been at loggerheads over salary scales for more than four years. The therapists, all of whom qualified after 2002, claim unfair remuneration as the HR department pays them using the radiographer code, in terms of which they earn less than their counterparts at other hospitals. They took their grievance to the CCMA, which ruled in their favour in August 2019. “The applicants were unfairly discriminated against in respect of their right to equal pay for work of equal value, in that there were no fair and rational reasons, as submitted by the respondent, the Gauteng department of health, for the differences in pay between them and their chosen comparators,” read the award. The CCMA also instructed the department to pay the therapists R5.7m in compensation. However, the department appealed against the ruling, saying the therapists were in different jobs to those they were compared to. The funds have yet to be paid to the therapists as they are waiting for the labour court to set a date for the hearing.


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