The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) as the majority union at the Clinix Health Group is currently preparing for a strike action over substantive issues. The strike is a result of failed wage negotiations between NEHAWU and the employer. Negotiations have been ongoing since the 4th September 2020 and collapsed after parties failed to find consensus.
The national union submitted its demands to the employer which included amongst others the following demands:
· 10% wage increase across the board
· Minimum salary of R6500
· Housing allowance of R1500
· Uniform annual top up
In countering the 10% salary increase demanded by the union, the employer tabled a zero percent increase offer. As if that was not enough, the employer went further to threaten unilateral withdrawal of the meal allowances which formed part of the conditions of employment for workers with effect from 1st October 2020.
An internal dispute hearing in line with the recognition agreement was convened on the 2nd October 2020. The deadlock could not be resolved because the employer presented an alternative proposal to retrench workers as a tactic to counter the union demands. This was indeed a sarcastic response and a clear demonstration that the deadlock could not be resolved. The dispute was then referred to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and the conciliation hearing sat on 28th October 2020 and remained unresolved until parties were issued with a certificate of non-resolution.
The national union convened membership meetings for reporting and balloting for the strike and members of the union in numbers voted in favour of the strike. NEHAWU has served the employer with the 48 hour strike notice today (Thursday December 10, 2020) and the strike action will then commence on Monday December 14, 2020.
The following workplaces/hospitals will be affected by the strike action: Dr Matseke Memorial Hospital, Naledi Nkanyezi Private Hospital, Tshepo Themba Private Hospital, Boshelong Private Hospital and Victoria Hospital. The employer is obviously failing to demonstrate and appreciate the sacrifices that workers in these hospitals have made with their lives to keep afloat the survival of their business and to save lives of society during the lockdown period and beyond.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 082 455 2500 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org