Department of Health. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency/ANA
Department of Health. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency/ANA

Nurses' union not allowed in City of Tshwane clinics

By RAPULA MOATSHE Time of article published Nov 9, 2018

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NURSES affiliated to the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) are upset that their representatives were prohibited from meeting with them at the City of Tshwane clinics, where they work.

The disgruntled nurses claimed they were denied the right to union representation because they were not employed by the municipality.

Their employer is the provincial Department of Health, which stationed them at the municipal clinics to fulfil its part of a memorandum of understanding with the City.

Nurses said it was unfair for the municipality to only allow the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) and Independent Municipal Allied Trade Union (Imatu) to interact with the employees.

The information barring other unions from entering City departments or regions was entailed in a memo dated May 18, 2018, which was circulated among all officials.

The memo, which the Pretoria News has seen, read: “It has been brought to our attention that some departments or regions allow unrecognised trade unions to hold meetings and recruit potential members during working hours and within the City of Tshwane’s premises. Departments and regions are hereby advised to refrain from allowing any trade union who is not recognised by the South African Local Government Bargaining Council to exercise organisational rights as they are not legally entitled.”

The memo further stated that “the only recognised trade unions in the City of Tshwane which, enjoy organisational rights are the Imatu and Samwu”.

The memo was penned by Gerald Shingange, group head of human capital management, who also advised “that no other trade unions except Imatu and Samwu are permitted access to any City of Tshwane premises to hold meetings”.

“Allowing trade unions that are not yet admitted as parties to the bargaining council to hold meetings constitutes a serious breach of its constitution and the main collective agreement,” Shingange wrote.

Health MMC Sakkie du Plooy expressed disappointment at the approach that barred other unions to host meetings with nurses.

“I don’t think it is right,” he said.

He promised to take up the matter with the group head of his department with a view to address it.

“These nurses are part of us. They should have the same privileges as nurses affiliated to Samwu and Imatu. Their representatives should be allowed to see them,” Du Plooy said.

Denosa regional leader Simon Lebeloane referred media enquiries to a colleague Bongani Mazibuko, who was not available to comment.

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