Kitchen staff finally get permanent employment

Emotions ran high as some workers who were employed for more than 15 years without adequate pay received their appointment letters from Free State Premier, Sefora Ntombela. and the Free State Health MEC, Montsheng Tsiu. PHOTO: TWITTER

Over 100 newly employed kitchen staff members who were given their appointment letters by the Free State Department of Health on Wednesday will receive the back pay on their salaries next month as they were only appointed yesterday, even though their contracts were effective from 1 June.

This is according to Mondli Mvambi, spokesperson of the provincial health department.  The workers, who were previously under the employment of private sector companies, received their appointment letters at the Free State Psychiatric Department Complex during an emotional handover ceremony where Free State Premier, Sefora Ntombela, and the MEC of Health in the province, Montsheng Tsiu, gave workers their employment letters.

These appointments come after the staff went on a strike earlier this month because the Free State Department of Health had been promising the workers for years that they would be absorbed into government.

On 3 June the Head of the Free State Health Department, Dr David Motau, told the striking kitchen staff that the insourcing process would soon be concluded.

It is understood that these workers had for years appealed to government for full-time jobs as they worked in the private sector and alleged that the conditions they were working under were not ideal.

Some worked for as many as 15 years with meagre salaries and no benefits such as pension and medical aid.

Ntombela told those in attendance that this event was a momentous occasion as the workers would now enjoy better conditions of employment such as improved salaries, medical aid, housing allowances, training and development as well as pension benefits.

Ntombela used the opportunity to campaign for the ANC, saying these appointments are a fulfilment of the ruling party’s promise to better the lives of all who live in the province and country.

“We are doing exactly that as this ANC government. We are not only improving the conditions of service for one employee but securing a better sustainable livelihood for families”, said Ntombela ahead of the event.

The workers have begun working in their new roles and they will all be stationed at the Free State Development Corporation in Bloemfontein.

Pulane Choane