Main­te­nance staff at Grey’s on a go­slow

The Witness - - NEWS - KERUSHUN PIL­LAY and VUYELWA MTOLO

MAIN­TE­NANCE staff at Grey’s Hospi­tal are on a go­slow un­til man­age­ment gives them new uni­forms and other at­tire.

About 120 staff mem­bers launched the protest yes­ter­day and said they will only at­tend to “crit­i­cal” faults un­til their com­plaints are ad­dressed. The group claimed main­te­nance work­ers have not be­ing al­lo­cated staff at­tire in the last five years. They said they were en­ti­tled to over­alls, safety boots, masks, aprons, ear plugs, weld­ing gloves and safety gog­gles.

They added that they were forced to buy their own at­tire or carry out main­te­nance du­ties in ca­sual cloth­ing. The group is re­spon­si­ble for main­te­nance across the en­tire hospi­tal, in­clud­ing elec­tri­cal, plumb­ing and paint­ing work.

But the KZN Depart­ment of Health de­nied that staff had not been al­lo­cated uni­forms.

Spokesper­son Ncumisa Ma­funda said: “The depart­ment is at­tend­ing to th­ese con­cerns.”

Unions and Grey’s Hospi­tal man­age­ment met to dis­cuss the is­sue yes­ter­day. The Wit­ness re­porters were barred from at­tend­ing the meet­ing.

A union mem­ber claimed staff were forced to buy over­alls for R180 and were not re­funded. “Our guys are forced to share things, or else they can’t at­tend to jobs,” he said.

Staff claimed they used to get eight pairs of blue over­alls. Since 2012 they have re­ceived none. “We have com­plained for the last five years [to the depart­ment]. They say they are short of bud­get and that we must wait for a new fi­nan­cial year,” a union source said.

Staff said they had been forced to em­bark on in­dus­trial ac­tion be­cause their com­plaints fell on deaf ears. “We are on a go­slow be­cause we want man­age­ment to be aware [of our prob­lems]. Right now it seems as if they’re look­ing away,” one staff mem­ber said.

“We have not com­pletely stopped work­ing, but will only stop the strike once we get some at­ten­tion. We need a quick so­lu­tion.”

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