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DENOSA KZN victory in the arbitration case for translation of specialist nurses against the Department of Health

Media statement
Wednesday, 04 December 2019


The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in KwaZulu-Natal welcomes the arbitration award in its favour at the PHSDSBC arbitration in a matter we brought to the arbitrator for its interpretation of the collective agreement on Occupation-Specific Dispensation (OSD) for 38 nurses who have since qualified as specialist nurses but have not yet been translated and remunerated according to their specialization.

DENOSA had challenged the Department’s Circular 13 of 2017 which was prohibiting institutions from back-paying nurses who have qualified for speciality positions, thereby nullifying the previous Circular 29 of 2012 which was used to translate nurses according to the date of qualification for the speciality.

“We have always maintained that circular 13 of 2017 was unfair to our members because when nurses come back to work from training, they assume duties in line with their newly-qualified speciality,” explains DENOSA KZN Provincial Secretary, Mandla Shabangu.

“We felt that the employer is abusing our members for performing speciality duties and yet they were not being paid for that.”

DENOSA took the matter to arbitration on behalf of 38 nurses who were affected back then. By the time the arbitration processes commenced, the number of affected nurses had increased to 91 in the province.

“The Commissioner found in favour of our nurses and ordered the Department to compensate all nurses affected retrospectively, meaning from the date of obtaining their speciality qualifications,” adds Shabangu.

This is the victory for DENOSA and nurses in the province who have been exploited by being forced to work as specialists whereas they have not been paid for that. Finally, justice and fairness have prevailed for them.

DENOSA wishes to applaud its members for this victory in their favour. Furthermore, DENOSA encourages who are affected by this circular to come forward so that DENOSA can ensure that they all get what is due to them. Affected nurses in KZN can contact DENOSA KZN on 031 305 1417.


Issued by DENOSA in KwaZulu-Natal