Nehawu general-secretary Zola Sapheth and spokesperson Khaya Xaba at a press briefing. The union and Medscheme said late on Monday they had reached an agreement to end a strike. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency/ANA

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s largest health risk management services provider Medscheme and the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) said late on Monday they had reached an agreement to end a strike over performance bonuses.

Workers went on strike last Thursday after the two parties failed to resolve a dispute over the introduction of a performance management tool.

A statement from Medscheme sent on Monday said the company and the union had agreed to establish a task team with seven days to determine an amount to be paid to each employee and to settle on the distribution matrix of the performance based bonus model before the end of July.

They also agreed that there would be no victimisation of employees who participated in the strike and that 2019/ 2020 wage negotiations would begin immediately and be concluded by the end of June.

“We are happy with the agreements. They are in the best interests of the union, its members, the entire AfroCentric family, its customers and the broader South African economy,” said advocate Patrick Sota, head of industrial relations at Medscheme's parent company AfroCentric Group.

“We are happy with the resolution of the strike. It means employees can go back to work in these tough economic times."

Nehawu said under the deal, workers would now be paid performance based bonuses in October for the period July 1, 2019 to June 30,  2020.

"The employer has committed to make funds available for the 2019 bonus payments including performance bonuses for the next financial cycle in 2020. The agreement is an arbitration award and as such the union will waste no time in enforcing it should the employer fail to implement it," it said in a separate statement.

"This strike should serve as a testament to other workers that when they are united nothing is impossible. Nehawu shall continue to aggressively fight for better working conditions, decent wages and for workers to be treated with dignity."

African News Agency (ANA)