The Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) in the North West say their members at Christiana Hospital are not on strike.
SABC reported that the union only had two of its members refusing to work overtime shifts because management has not paid overtime allowances for the past two years.
Hospersa’s labour relations organiser Mpho Mongane said: “Our members are not on strike. Our members presented a petition to management informing them that they are no longer going to work overtime as it has not been paid for the last two years.”
Mongane blamed management for the discharging of patients at the hospital while others were transferred to the Bloemhof Community Health Centre, following a protest by nursing staff at the Christiana Hospital.
He said: “Management took a unilateral decision to release all the patients that were admitted at Christiana hospital and transfer others to Bloemhof CHC. So, it is the decision of the management and we don’t know the reason for that.”
National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) have said their members had no other option but to go on strike to attract the attention of the provincial health authorities because their members are working overtime which has not been paid for.
Nehawu deputy regional chairperson in the North West Tebogo Kwati said: “If it was not for this action, it would have been business as usual. Two or three managers of the district would have come here and play hide and seek to our members, but we did not want members from the district we wanted the MEC.”
North West health MEC Madoda Sambatha said: “I need investigations and action, anyone who is implicated must account for that. It can’t just be that on the eve of an international health disaster, you have workers who decide at that point that caring of patients is secondary to them.
“I need someone to account as to what happened and who was involved in that.”
(Compiled by Sandisiwe Mbhele)