Maintenance staff at Grey’s on a goslow
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.”