Health workers’ unions Haitu and Illawu joined forces on Monday by marching in the Johannesburg CBD, calling for government to urgently intervene on employment issues in the province’s public hospitals.
Health workers unions Health and Allied workers Indaba Trade Union (Haitu) and The Independent Liberation & Allied Workers Union (Ilawu) are calling on the Gauteng government to urgently address the ailing state of the province’s health department. Picture: Alpha Ramushwana/ Eyewitness News.
JOHANNESBURG – Healthcare workers affiliated to trade unions, Health and Allied workers Indaba Trade Union (Haitu) and Independent Liberation & Allied Workers Union (Ilawu) are calling for the Gauteng Health Department to permanently employ healthcare workers who were temporarily hired to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, the unions led a picket outside the department’s offices at the Johannesburg central business district and then marched to the office of the premier to plead for an urgent solution.
The two unions’ demonstrations come three weeks after workers affiliated to National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) seized labour in a bid to have the issues faced by nurses at public hospitals across the country addressed.
The unions handed over another memorandum of demands to the office of the premier.
Healthcare workers affiliated to trade union Haitu are calling for the COVID-19 support staff to be hired permanently.
READ: Health worker unions march to highlight problems within Gauteng health dept
Their contracts are due to end on Friday and they have raised concerns over the health department not showing any intention to offer them permanent contracts.
Trade union Haitu president, Rich Sicina, said the nurses committed their time and life to treating patients during the peak of the pandemic and it is unfair to just let them go.
“They want to release the nurses at the end of this month and this will have a dire impact on our wards and clinics.”
He said that it makes no sense to release the nurses while many hospitals have a shortage of healthcare workers.
Health worker’s union – HAITU – is today leading a protest in Johannesburg to voice concerns over what it calls the exploitation of health care workers. The union’s members will be marching to the office of the Gauteng Premier. @Alpha_Mero25 pic.twitter.com/GJIjV8OnKD
‘ EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) March 27, 2023