The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] is revolted by the subtle refusal by the Department of Water and Sanitation to fully implement the strike settlement agreement reached between the union and the department on the 13th March 2018.
This agreement came as a result of a protected strike action by NEHAWU members nationally from the 08th until the 12th March 2018. Despite nine meetings that the union convened with the department immediately after signing the agreement to try and operationalise the agreement, the department to date has not implemented most of the issues in the agreement which include amongst others: developing modalities of insourcing construction work in the department, developing modalities of insourcing all outsourced services with priority given to cleaning and security services, re-aligning contracts of employment for all project based employees to the lifespan of the sub-projects and lastly entering into discussions with the union on projects lifespans, linked to that is the implementation of the Advisory Committee report on Kakamas.
The department is intentionally ignoring the fact that clause 10.3 of the agreement clearly states that “the union will suspend the strike action pending the department implementing the agreement” and as things stand the department is forcing our members to consider going back to the streets. The national union will not hesitate to go back on strike should the department continue to be intransigent.
The national union as a progressive and responsible union has tried to meet with the Acting Director General on the 10th August 2018 and the Acting Director General Ms. Mochotlhi Deborah deliberately made our delegation to wait for more than an hour and still failed to show up for the meeting and the delegation of the union had to leave the offices of the department without meeting the Acting Director General.
As such the union is weighing options available at its disposal on the next steps to take. Our position is that our members are not going to suffer because of the attitude of the Acting Director General. In actual fact, our view is that this attitude is the reason for the dire situation that the department is finding itself in. As a result, the national union formally sent a letter demanding the reimbursement of costs incurred, a formal letter of apology on her conduct and also propose a new date and time for the next meeting which must take place in our offices within 24 hours upon receiving our letter. Failure to comply with our ultimatum will result into an unfortunate situation between the national union and the department.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU Media Liaison Officer) at 082 455 2500 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit NEHAWU website: www.nehawu.org.za