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Denosa plans mass protests against Gauteng health over unfair treatment of nurses

Gauteng Denosa provincial spokesperson Simphiwe Gada. Image: Boxer Ngwenya

Gauteng Denosa provincial spokesperson Simphiwe Gada. Image: Boxer Ngwenya

Published Jul 6, 2022

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Nursing union Democratic Nursing Organisation South Africa (Denosa) is to continue with its plans for a mass demonstration against Gauteng Health Department.

Denosa threatened mass demonstrations against the department in a media briefing on Sunday.

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The union said the department had failed to pay the salaries of more than 700 trainee nurses in the past three months, and over 800 trainees who completed their mandatory community services, which the union said the department wanted to retrench despite its shortage of nurses.

“We are going to mobilise to visit the premier of the province and we will also be visiting the treasury in the province, because we believe the treasury must allocate funds to the health department in order for it to meet its mandate,” said Denosa provincial spokesperson Simphiwe Gada on Sunday.

He added that the union was also demanding that the current chief financial officer at the department, Lerato Madyo, face consequences and be held liable for the nurses who had not been paid.

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“We will be inviting all the nurses in the province because this is not only about the nurses who have not been paid; this is about defending the dignity of the nursing profession,” Gada said.

In response to the media briefing, Gauteng health department issued a statement in which its’ spokesperson Motalatale Modiba, promised that officials would continue working with stakeholders to address the challenges that had been identified.

“Furthermore, the Health Department can confirm that there are no nurses due for retrenchment. All the professional community service nurses for the 2021/2022 financial year will be retained and appointed permanently. The process to effect the appointments is under way,” he said.

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On the posts of community service nurses and the community service nurses’ salaries, he said the matter had been resolved and that the nurses would receive their salaries on Monday.

“Just over 50 employees are affected, 45 of these will be paid on Monday with the exception of seven others whose mandates need to be corrected from the host institutions. Their salaries will be processed as a matter of urgency upon addressing the related administrative issues.

“The department apologises to the affected employees for the inconvenience caused,” Modiba said. He added that the department will work with multilateral stakeholders to review its training strategies versus its staffing needs to ensure that there is synergy between supply and demand.

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The union said it noted the department’s statement, however, it said it will not applaud the department for doing what they should have done in the beginning. It added that it will only believe the commitment made by Gauteng health when it materialises.

“In the meantime, Denosa Gauteng will continue with its plans to mobilise nurses in Gauteng to pay a visit to Gauteng’s premier and treasury and health department because we remain convinced that Gauteng health and the provincial government must give us a firm commitment that all 727 nurses (the 2022/23 cohort) who are currently doing their community service will not be retrenched in the next six months, that is on January 1, 2022,” the union said yesterday(on Monday).

Denosa said it was tired of having to fight every beginning of the year for nurses to be employed while the province continues experiencing nurses’ shortages in the various health facilities.

“We call on all nurses in the province to mobilise for a march that will reclaim the dignity of nurses in Gauteng and that will deal with the nurses’ shortages that we are currently experiencing in the province,” the union said.

Denosa is expected to take the streets on July 20, starting in Braamfontein outside Cosatu house at 9am.

@Chulu_M

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