THE National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) strike action at the Gauteng provincial legislature (GPL) continues unabated.
Nehawu’s dispute with the GPL is mainly about wage and salary increases. This as about 150 workers downed tools demanding a 9.5% salary increase and 1% increase to cushion the increase effected by medical costs.
“In terms of the latest development, GPL had agreed to the increase. However, they say at the end of the financial year 0.5% will be removed from the increment. Workers have rejected that as they have never heard of such a resolution,” Nehawu branch secretary Kgomotso Sekulane said.
Sekulane said the issue of no work no pay needed to be discussed as the GPL intends to apply that principle.
“From our latest meeting with the GPL they say they intend to deduct salaries of workers while they were on strike.
“We reject this as the GPL is to blame for the strike dragging this long. If the GPL embarks on such an action it will mean workers will not be able to meet their financial obligations,” Sekulane said.
According to Nehawu this is perceived as punishing workers for striking and the GPL had not followed through with their agreement that salary negotiations would start in November 2016.
Since then there had been delays as the GPL management was dragged to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration which gave the union a strike certificate.
When Nehawu’s strike was in it first week, it had threatened to elevate the strike action nationally.
“We will still have a meeting with the national, provincial and regional office bearers, whereby discussions will be held regarding escalating the strike.
“In relation to management of the GPL, we are clearly speaking about people who remain intransigent,” Sekulane said.
Sekulane said Nehawu would intensify its strike and wanted to send a message that it had been reasonable throughout.
However the GPL had not yet come to its senses by agreeing to workers demands. At the time of going to press, the GPL had not replied to questions from The New Age.