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Nupsaw ropes in all public servants for 3-day Church Square protest against budget cuts

A file picture of Nupsaw members at a previous protest on Church Square. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)

A file picture of Nupsaw members at a previous protest on Church Square. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Nov 18, 2020


Pretoria –The National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (Nupsaw) is strengthening its plans to fill up Church Square for three days next week by roping in all public servants affected by the government's asperity budget.

National organiser Solly Malema said the union was mobilising all public servants from community health workers to members of the Expanded Public Works Programme, early childhood education staff and permanent government employees to gather outside National Treasury offices from Wednesday to Friday next week.

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The union last week said it was not part of a strike action led by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) calling for the absorption and better treatment of community health workers by the government.

Malema said the union was going harder at recruiting all public servants who had been affected by government's asperity budget cuts, enslaving contracts for community health workers and members of the Expanded Public Works Programme and the neglect of early childhood education staff who were supposed to be integrated into the basic education sector.

He said the government was no longer filling vacancies due to asperity budgets and was resorting to using the Expanded Public Works Programme to compliment its staff, while paying the workers "peanuts" in the name of stipends.

He said: "This will be a strong call by public servants, those the government wants to recognise and those it does not, to say to Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni, go to cabinet and tell them that the people are up in arms.

"They want this government to honour its promises and do right by them because how is the private sector going to do right by the people when the government is failing them for everyone to see?

"It cannot be right that some members of the Expanded Public Works Programme have been on contracts for six and seven years. This is just slavery. They were supposed to have been trained long ago so they could go find employment and get into the real economy. What happens to the money meant for training them then?

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"Public servants want increases and community health workers want to be absorbed on a level two scale and early childhood education must be integrated. These things need to happen if this government seeks to serve its people."

Malema said the party would this week issue a communication formally articulating all the grievances in great detail.

He said the people were tired and ready to fight for what was just even if it meant they had to resort to mass action in the middle of a pandemic.

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Pretoria News

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