Pretoria - The National Education, Health, and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has signed a settlement agreement after a four-day strike at the Agricultural Research Council (ARC). 

"The strike came as a result of the failure by the employer to give our members a salary increase and other demands that we tabled with the employer," Nehawu said in a statement.

After "marathon meetings" with the employer, the  parties agreed on:

  • A salary increase on a sliding scale ranging from 10 percent to one percent for senior managerial staff members on a single-term agreement. Parties would meet later in the year and renegotiate for those senior managerial staff members and workers between GG7 and GG 12 salary scales;
  • A process to deal with medical aid, housing allowance, performance bonus, and pay progression; and
  • The employer to assist employees injured while on duty by allowing them to be treated by private institutions.

"As Nehawu, we consulted all our members on the settlement agreement and [the] majority of our members mandated us to settle the dispute. We want to commend our members for ensuring that we push the employer to the point that the employer moves from the zero percent they were offering to the point whereby they tabled a better and improved offer."

The union would now prepare to campaign for the ARC to be funded "correctly", as the council played a pivotal role in the health of all South Africans. Government needed to play a proactive role in ensuring that the ARC was properly funded and kept its doors open at all times, Nehawu said.

African News Agency/ANA