Unions protest against Liv­ing­stone CEO

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - News - Estelle El­lis el­lise@ti­soblack­star.co.za

Emer­gency med­i­cal care, clean­ing ser­vices and gen­eral pa­tient as­sis­tance at the Liv­ing­stone Hos­pi­tal were in­ter­rupted on Fri­day as clean­ers, porters, nurses, am­bu­lance driv­ers, medics and se­cu­rity per­son­nel em­barked on protest ac­tion at both Liv­ing­stone Hos­pi­tal and the Emer­gency Med­i­cal Ser­vices across the prov­ince.

All four unions rep­re­sent­ing work­ers at the hos­pi­tal em­barked on full-blown protest ac­tion on Fri­day af­ter their calls to have Liv­ing­stone Hos­pi­tal CEO Thu­lane Madon­sela re­moved dur­ing lunchtime protests on Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day failed.

“We went to his of­fice to see him and Dr Mo­jalefa Maseloa, but they ran away to hide at the Pro­vin­cial Hos­pi­tal,” one union mem­ber, who asked not to be named, said.

Am­bu­lance driv­ers and medics also went on strike on Fri­day, threat­en­ing a to­tal pro­vin­cial shut­down of the am­bu­lance ser­vice be­cause of over­time and ex­cess hours pay­ments they said had been out­stand­ing for four years.

Eastern Cape Demo­cratic Nurs­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion of South Africa (Denosa) gen­eral sec­re­tary Khaya So­didi said four unions had joined the protest ac­tion.

He said their main de­mand was to have hos­pi­tal man­age­ment re­moved to stop nepo­tism.

“There is a gross short­age of clin­i­cal and non-clin­i­cal staff and man­age­ment seems to be do­ing noth­ing about that, de­spite many calls by em­ploy­ees.”

So­didi said unions were de­mand­ing a foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the top man­age­ment and for Madon­sela to be sus­pended with im­me­di­ate ef­fect.

One of the em­ployee lead­ers of the protest ac­tion at Liv­ing­stone said the four unions – Ne­hawu, Hospersa, Denosa and Sapsu (South African Se­cu­rity and Pro­tec­tion Union) – had joined the protest by Fri­day.

“There is an is­sue over a manager re­ceiv­ing a lot of money that wasn’t due to him. Also, they con­tinue to em­ploy peo­ple from KwaZulu-Natal.”

Liv­ing­stone Hos­pi­tal board deputy chair Glenda Peru­mal said they were in­ves­ti­gat­ing the causes of the protest ac­tion.

“We want to as­cer­tain the sit­u­a­tion at the hos­pi­tal and will de­velop an in­ter­ven­tion strat­egy,” she said.

At lunchtime on Fri­day, am­bu­lance prac­ti­tion­ers (driv­ers and medics) went on strike at the Lind­say Road of­fices of the health depart­ment’s am­bu­lance ser­vices.

“There will be no am­bu­lances un­til they pay,” a spokesper­son for the group said.

Madon­sela did not want to con­firm if he was at the Pro­vin­cial Hos­pi­tal and re­ferred all queries to the depart­ment of health.

Depart­ment spokesper­son Lwandile Sicwet­sha said a team had been as­signed to look into the al­le­ga­tions.

“How­ever, the depart­ment is against any form of in­tim­i­da­tion of its staff and il­le­gal strikes by health pro­fes­sion­als.”

Sicwet­sha said am­bu­lance per­son­nel were not al­lowed to strike.

“We have been pro­cess­ing pay­ments for them,” he said.

“The union now wants pay­ment for over­time claims from 2003. We have un­der­taken to ver­ify these claims,” he said.

How­ever, the depart­ment is against any form of in­tim­i­da­tion of its staff and il­le­gal strikes by health pro­fes­sion­als

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.