Sunday, 14 April, 2024
HomeWeekly RoundupKhayelitsha community health workers picket for COVID-19 danger pay and permanent jobs

Khayelitsha community health workers picket for COVID-19 danger pay and permanent jobs

About 50 community healthcare workers have protested outside the Khayelitsha Day Hospital, demanding adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 danger pay, reports Groundup. National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (NUPSAW) is demanding that the community health workers be “absorbed on a level 2 salary scale” as an interim solution.

NUPSAW spokesperson Kagiso Makoe said the community healthcare workers also want to be paid R2,000 for COVID-19 danger allowance. “The Health Department must end the exploitation of community healthcare workers (CHWs) and start to recognise them as permanent employees of the department and the valuable work they perform,” he said.

Makoe said the union welcomed the decision by the Gauteng Health Department to permanently absorb all community healthcare workers on salary level 2, since 1 July 2020. “We are disappointed that other provinces are reluctant to recognise CHWS as public servants,” he said.

Cynthia Tikwayo, chair of Western Cape CHWs, said in the Groundup report that they have been protesting for adequate PPE outside the hospital since March. “When we ask the department officials for a pay raise, they say we work for NGOs and therefore our payment is not their responsibility. When we demand salary increases from our health NGOs, they tell us to direct our demands to the department and say they hire and pay us according to the department’s instructions.”

In response to questions following the picket, Sithembiso Magubane, Western Cape Health Department spokesperson, said: “The matter is receiving attention at the level of top management. We are waiting on a decision regarding the way forward.”

 

[link url="https://www.groundup.org.za/article/community-healthcare-workers-demand-danger-pay-and-insourcing/"]Full Groundup report[/link]

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