Cape Town – The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) has vowed to escalate its strike action from Monday, until its demands are met.
“It is important to confirm that Nehawu continues with the strike in a more intensified manner as from tomorrow, Monday, the 13th March 2023, to demonstrate to government the seriousness with which we take the concerted efforts to underplay the role and significance of public servants who are at the coalface of service delivery,” Eye Witness News quoted the union as saying at a media briefing in Johannesburg on Sunday.
The strike action started on Monday last week, with union members demanding a salary increase of 10–12% while the government is offering 4.7%.
Nehawu has vowed to intensify the disruptive strike by public healthcare workers. Mike Shingane says that more institutions delivering public health services will be affected this week as more members join in the protest. @KatSekhotho has more.
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According to eNCA, the union accused the government of arrogance during negotiations.
Health Minister Joe Phaahla has claimed that at least four people may have died as a result of the ongoing nationwide strike.
“At least four people are likely to have lost their lives in a manner which we can attribute directly to the strike. We have a legal team which we are consulting to look at what are our options in that regard,” Phaahla said.
But the union’s general secretary, Zola Saphetha, reportedly said on Sunday that the government had to take responsibility for any lives lost during strike action, not the union.
Tensions in the public sector were sparked by a collapse in the 2022 wage negotiations, with added strain between unions and the government after a new offer for 2023 was recently tabled.
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Compiled by Betha Madhomu