Entabeni hospital staff and nurses sing and dance during a strike for better pay and working conditions. Motshwari Mofokeng African News Agency (ANA)
Durban - NURSES at Life Entabeni Hospital embarked on a strike on Tuesday after failing to reach common ground with Life Healthcare regarding backpay.

Earlier this month the Daily News reported that nurses at Life Westville and Life Chatsmed Gardens hospitals, were ready to embark on a full-blown strike if their request for a wage increase was not met.

According to a Life Healthcare statement, they have come to an agreement with Life Westville and Life Chatsmed hospitals after tendering a revised offer of a 6% pay increase.

On Tuesday, nurses protested near the hospital and were expected to continue on Wednesday.

Staff at Life Entabeni said they were willing to accept the revised offer on the understanding that they would receive backpay from January. However, they were informed that they would receive backpay from February.

National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) regional secretary Prince Mthalane said their main concern was the backpay.

“The employer is now offering 6%, which it says is going to be effective from February, which we don’t accept. They must give the increment from January 1.”

Life Healthcare said it was looking for a quick resolution to the stand-off.

Asked about the effect the strike had on its operational capacity, the group said it was working to ensure minimal disruption to patients.

“We continue to make sure that our services and patient care are not compromised and have additional clinical and administrative resources in place to ensure there is minimal disruption to hospital services and the quality care that we provide.”

Daily News