Nehawu workers at Mediclinic picket for better wages

Until workers receive their demands, the Mediclinic Bfn strike by Newhawu members continues... Credit: Pierce van Heerden

Support services workers at Mediclinic Bloemfontein took their issues with management to the streets in a picket they arranged on Wednesday morning.

The staff members, who all belong to the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu), are demanding better salaries, the ending of outsourcing as well as for the hospital to stop retrenching workers and rather find another solution to the matter.

The union’s treasurer in the central west region, Thabiso Lala, says: “We have had several engagements with the employers, requesting that our wages be increased by 10%, while the employer could only offer 5.29%. We then went back to say that the consumer price index (CPI) stands at 6,45%, they could at least place it in line with the CPI rate. What hurts us the most, is that without fail, hospital management receives their 13% and so our question is, how can a company like Mediclinic, which made R280 million in profit last year, claim that it won’t be able to afford our increases? We will not accept that. We want our money.”

Meanwhile, Doctor Relationship Manager, Mia Roberts, provided Bloemfontein Courant with a statement which states despite the referral of the matter to the CCMA on 29 June 2017, an agreement between the union and the hospital’s management regarding particular staff members could not be reached. Roberts also confirmed that the Nehawu informed the hospital of its intention to strike and contingency measures have been put in place within the affected business units.

The hospital’s spokesperson, Barbara Steenkamp was unavailable for comment.

Catch the full story in tomorrow’s Bloemfontein Courant.

Pulane Choane-