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SAFTU Eastern Cape statement in Support of Community healthcare workers

SAFTU fully supports the demand of the Community Healthcare Workers for that they be insourced and be permanently employment by the Department of Health at salary scale level 5.

It is totally illogical that the government one hand recognise and praise the role being played by the Community Healthcare Workers in the delivery of the health services to the people, yet on the other hand government keep these workers outsourced, earning peanuts without any benefits enjoyed by their counterparts in the civil service.

The government position is not sustainable. We call on the government to follow the example set by the Gauteng government, which has already integrated these workers into the public service. We salute our affiliate NUPSAW that has for many years led marchers, demonstrations and staged sit-ins in the head offices of the Department of Health and Gauteng provincial government.

There is no doubt that more must be done by SAFTU and her affiliates to push for the permanent employment of the Community Healthcare workers and the Early Childhood Development workers. SAFTU has also submitted a Section 77 notice on 17 September 2020. One of our demands is that the Community Healthcare workers and the Early Childhood Developers be insourced without any further detail. We are holding a one-day general strike on the 24 February to take this demand forward.

NUPSAW not only has taken this matter in the streets but has pushed hard inside Public Health and Social Development Sectoral Bargaining Council (PHSDSBC). Not surprising the sweetheart unions vehemently refused to recognise the Community Healthcare workers inclusion and recognition. NUPSAW stood alone and the sweetheart unions today opportunistically championing the cause of these most vulnerable and yet critically important layer of health workers opposed NUPSAW push for their inclusion in the PHSDSBC.

In the interim, we will follow up on the agreement with the Eastern Cape SG Mbengashe to open up internal posts within the department of health to absorb CHWs while in waiting through a task team of labour and officials from the department of health working on this issue. Our demands remain that all these workers be absorbed at level 5. We demand that the principle of Recognition of Prior Learning be applied so that no barriers are erected to undermine the demand for insourcing and the eminent victory of these workers.