More fid­dling

Finweek English Edition - - Letters - AC MEYER

WITH REF­ER­ENCE to “To my mind” (4 June) and an ear­lier re­port by Richard Pike ( Fin­week 28 May 2008) in which he al­leges the in­dus­try isn’t un­der­stood, per­haps he could ex­plain the fol­low­ing events so that we (the pub­lic) can com­pre­hend them. At a cer­tain pro­vin­cial hospi­tal there are be­tween 15 and 20 staff mem­bers re­cruited by an em­ploy­ment bureau and of­fered a con­tract to work. Our daugh­ter, a qual­i­fied staff sis­ter, ob­tained con­tract em­ploy­ment for one month: 10% of her in­come goes to the bureau.

Af­ter that she ob­tained an­other con­tract for a month. That process has been re­peated monthly for the past five years. In other words, the bureau re­ceives be­tween R5 000 and R6 000/year from one staff mem­ber.

That staff mem­ber now does spe­cialised work. Even the ECGs for heart surgery, as well as lung func­tion tests, are en­trusted to her. She’s re­peat­edly as­sured her po­si­tion is be­ing re­viewed to be­come a per­ma­nent ap­point­ment with med­i­cal and pen­sion ben­e­fits, but noth­ing ever comes of it.

The Depart­ment of Labour says it can’t act for con­tract work­ers (from em­ploy­ment agen­cies). The Depart­ment of Health says it has 37 000 va­can­cies. The em­ploy­ment agency peo­ple get about R30 000 from one con­tract worker in five years.

How do you ex­plain this, Mr Pike?


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