Wednesday, 12 September 2018
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) is pleased with the agreement that was reached between trade unions and employer at the Public Health Social Development Sectoral Bargaining Chamber (PHSDSBC) whereby health professionals like nurses in the public sector will pay for their annual licences with the regulatory body through deductions from their salaries so that they no longer have to travel to Pretoria every year to pay for these.
The deal, which was signed on Monday, was one of the demands that DENOSA raised sharply with the nursing regulatory body, the South African Nursing Council (SANC), in its march in February 2017 in Pretoria where it demanded that nurses must pay for their annual licencing fees with the Council via deduction from their salaries as the Council offices are only based in Pretoria. This would mean that many nurses in the public sector won’t have to travel all the way to Pretoria every year, at a much higher cost, just to pay for their practicing licence.
Upon the failure of the SANC to listen to this, we had to take the matter to the bargaining chamber, where all parties finally agreed and signed. This agreement will be effective from October 2019, whereby payment for the 2020 licencing fee would be deducted from nurses’ salaries.
Currently, nurses have to take transport and sometimes book accommodation in Pretoria when they come to pay for their licencing fee, update their qualifications, or to buy distinguishing devices. Often the amount for the licence fee is much cheaper than what they often have to spend on the road and in accommodation.
In the case of nursing, nurses’ long queues often meander through the whole of Pretoria when nurses are to pay for their annual fees, because there are no offices in many provinces.
In essence the agreement entails the following:
- Nurses working in the public sector will start paying for the 2020 annual fee through deduction in 2019;
- Deduction will be made once a year in October (October 2019); and
- Nurses won't be held responsible for late deductions by the employer.
DENOSA believes this agreement will save nurses a lot trouble and is a victory for many workers, as they often have to spend money between traveling and accommodation than what they paying at SANC.
This, however, does not take away DENOSA’s strong view that SANC still needs to decentralize its offices, because currently this provision will only work for public sector nurses and that nurses in the private sector will still experience the similar challenges. The need to pay for annual fees is not the only reason SANC exists; therefore its presence in provinces all the time will fulfil the other needs of nurses.
Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA)
For more information, contact:
Cassim Lekhoathi, DENOSA Acting General Secretary
Mobile: 082 328 9671
Simon Hlungwani, DENOSA President
Mobile: 082 328 9635
Facebook: DENOSA National Page