Health Unions threaten to go on strike amidst virus crisis in hospital

Health workers have threatened to strike if they don’t get proper protective clothing – including masks and gloves

Some health workers have demanded personal protective equipment and danger pay, failing which, they will go on strike. Health workers have threatened to strike if they don’t get proper protective clothing – including masks and gloves – for working in coronavirus-threatened health facilities … and some want danger pay for working during the pandemic. Health workers belonging to the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) demanded protective material, while the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) added a demand for danger pay for nurses working in a Covid-19 environment. Denosa general secretary Cassim Lekhoathi said they raised the issue of payment of danger allowance with government representatives at the national bargaining council. He said they wanted it considered because their members who were nurses were exposed to dangers due to the Covid -19. “We are asking for a danger allowance. We have not specific an amount, but we told the employer that they must be open to talks,” Lekhoathi said. He said government negotiators told unions that they had no mandate to discuss the matter. Last week Nehawu threatened mass action to demand government should pay outstanding increases from the 2018 bargaining agreement.

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