Nehawu reaches agreement to end wage strike

Nehawu has been on a wage strike since March 6. However, the union announced on Wednesday that it had reached an agreement to end the strike action.

Nehawu has reached an agreement to end the wage strike. Picture: Nehawu's KZN provincial deputy secretary Ntokozo Nxumalo

Published Mar 16, 2023


Durban – An agreement has been reached to end the nationwide National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) wage strike, which started on March 6.

The announcement was made by Nehawu in a statement on Wednesday.

Striking Nehawu members demanded a 10% salary increase – of which 3% was granted last year –and a R2 500 housing allowance for workers.

The union said the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) facilitation process since March 9 had managed to reach a settlement agreement.

“To this effect, a PSCBC Special Council on wage negotiations is convened today (at 3pm) to process the settlement agreement together with salary adjustment for the financial year 2023/24. Inherently in our culture, we will keep our members informed on the developments.”

Nehawu called on all its members and workers at the picket lines to return to work.

“As members return to work, the national union and its structures shall be available to support and intervene in instances of victimisation or intimidation by the bosses in contravention of the letter and spirit of the settlement agreement.”

The union said the government had recognised the need to have a Minimum Service Level Agreement (MSLA).

“In the wake of the strike, the government has now appreciated the urgency of engagement on the draft framework on the MSLA through the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) processes within a six-month period.”

It said the conclusion of the agreement would ensure a proper balance in adherence to the Constitution’s provision on the right to strike and the mandatory requirements regarding designated essential services.

“In itself, this is a major step forward arising from the strike as government has consistently refused to align itself with the requirements emanating from the declaration of essential services by the Essential Services Commission in line with the Labour Relations Act.”