Today's Labour News

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nursing thumb medium90 93GroundUp reports that hundreds of nurses picketed outside the provincial Department of Health call centre in East London on Wednesday.

They were from among 5,000 enrolled nurses and nursing assistants at hospital and clinics in rural areas who claim the department owes them a special rural allowance. “For the past three years we have been at the forefront of the fight against Covid without salary increments … Pay the [Rural Allowances] due to us,” said Thembinkosi Qwakanisa from the Amathole Region. According to the nurses, the rural allowance of 8% to 12% was part of an agreement made between unions and the provincial health department at a 2019 bargaining council meeting. They accused health department head Dr Rolene Wagner of ignoring them. Thandile Tshabalala, chairperson for enrolled nurses and nursing assistants, said that the allowance was paid to all nurses working in rural areas until it was stopped in 2007. “We then fought for years for its reinstatement, but it was only reinstated for other categories, like the professional [staff] nurses only. We continued the fight which was led by Nehawu until in 2019 when the department conceded in the bargaining council that we were entitled to this allowance. But it was poorly implemented in five regions because only few nurses were receiving it,” she claimed. The department head and senior officials plan to meet union representatives this week to find a solution to the dispute.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Johnnie Isaac at GroundUp

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