Nehawu threatens strike over employment conditions of community healthcare workers

Discussions between community health workers and government broke down after government failed to absorb them into permanent employment.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has vowed to forge ahead with plans for a national strike over the employment conditions of community healthcare workers after months at loggerheads with the national department of health.

“This is a fight we are not prepared to lose,” said Nehawu general secretary Zola Saphetha.

On Thursday, the union notified the department about its balloting process for the strike. Discussions between community health workers and government broke down after government failed to absorb them into permanent employment.

This month, the Public Health and Social Development Sectoral Bargaining Council issued Nehawu a certificate of nonresolution for a dispute of mutual interest. The union was set to intensify its campaign to mobilise workers in the public health sector in defence, it says, of collective bargaining and the reversal of the gains of workers.

Lunch-hour pickets which are already an ongoing effort will be intensified with union leaders called in to attend and rally for support.

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