Media Statements

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DENOSA supports COSATU National Shutdown on 7 October in defence of collective bargaining, corruption and job losses

Media statement
Tuesday, 29 September 2020

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) National
Executive Committee (NEC) has resolved to fully support the National Day of
Action by union federations COSATU and FEDUSA on 7 October in defence of
collective bargaining, rampant corruption and job losses among others, and
DENOSA is forewarning communities of the potential slow pace of service in
health facilities as nurses will =E2=80=98work to rule=E2=80=99* on this da=
y.

DENOSA encourages nurses who will be off during this day to join the
provincial marches where COSATU will be delivering the memorandum. DENOSA
will be embarking on a nationwide programme to mobilise nurses for this
day, and nurses will be showing their unhappiness through pickets in the
lead up to the 7th of October.

Nurses who are the majority health professionals who got infected and
affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the workplace are more than ready to
take part in this important day for the voice and rights of workers in all
provinces.

In the health sector, the well-documented many challenges that healthcare
workers have been faced with in the recent past through bargaining
chambers, office of the Health Ministry and even the Presidency have
remained unresolved. The only remaining avenue left for workers was the
decision on their labour; and they will work to rule on this day.

Workers like nurses, those employed in the public sector, have not been
paid their salary adjustment since 1 April this year until today, despite
their commitment to their work during the most uncertain period for
humanity. And neither have they been paid COVID-19 risk allowance despite
working with a dangerous virus that has wiped more than 1 million people
from the world, including thousands of nurses.

Throughout our feedback sessions with nurses on the endless delays by
government in dispute processes over the non-adjustment of their salaries
in line with Resolution 1 of 2018, nurses have expressed frustration and
readiness to take to the streets and exercise their rights as workers if
that is what it will take for government to listen to genuine and
reasonable demands of workers.

Because of non-employment of additional nurses and support staff in
healthcare facilities by government, nurses are forced by their conscience
to do work of three or more other workers who are unemployed. Over and
above doing overwork in nursing duties, many nurses also work as cleaners,
porters and clerks which is more than a normal person can do.

For its part, DENOSA has taken the steps to advance the call to support
nurses in the following ways:

- We tabled issues of poor safety, the need to pay nurses Covid-19 risk
allowance and the need to support healthcare workers during the peak of
COVID-19 in the country with the ministry of health. Nothing positive came
from this engagement.

- We tabled at the bargaining chamber, where issues of conditions of
service and remuneration are discussed in government, the urgent need for
nurses to be paid a COVID-19 risk allowance as matter of urgency, including
the transportation arrangement for essential workers during Level 5
National Lockdown as it was too expensive for nurses to pay double the taxi
fare than they used to during normal operation of public transport. Again,
nothing positive came from this engagement.

- DENOSA together with other unions, have lodged disput