Pelonomi staff members issue management with ultimatum

───   LUCKY NKUYANE 12:48 Thu, 09 Dec 2021

Pelonomi staff members issue management with ultimatum | News Article
Nehawu-affiliated healthcare workers protested at Bloemfontein based Pelonomi Hospital on Wednesday 8 December 2021

The protesting Pelonomi healthcare workers, among others, are now back at work with stringent conditions put to the Free State Department of Health.

The National Health Allied Workers Union's (Nehawu) provincial chairperson, Moeketsi Napo, tells OFM News that the union met with the department on Wednesday to discuss the issues its affiliated members have.

He says serious issues, such as the redeployment or removal of the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), must be expedited; outstanding overtime monies must be paid; and the shortage of staff, including nurses and security guards, must be addressed. Napo says the staff has informed the union’s top office-bearers that the roof of the hospital is leaking during rainy days because of the ageing infrastructure.

“The department, in that meeting, made some commitments and we told them that the issues of overtime must be paid with immediate effect, and the issue of the shortage of staff must be dealt with before the end of this month. They must make sure that they appoint nurses and security guards. Other issues that were raised by our members, include the issue of security, whereby - if you remember in the recent past, there was an incident where one of the doctors was attacked by one of the community members, so we raised that sharply to say - they must also beef up the security,” he adds.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Health Department's spokesperson, Mondli Mvambi, previously warned the strike placed the lives of patients in danger and further added that the hospital management is trying to attend to staff’s grievances as a matter of urgency.

According to Mvambi, the operation of the Heidedal Policlinic inside the hospital was disrupted as the staff had to close due to intimidation by people who identified themselves as Nehawu members. Other parts of the hospital, such as casualty/trauma areas of the main hospital, as well as other clinical areas, were negatively affected, including antenatal and postnatal areas.

READ MORE: Pelonomi employees vow to not return to work

OFM News previously reported that a large group of them just gathered inside the hospital to demonstrate their anger and frustration with what they describe as a failed system when it comes to addressing their grievances the past few years.

READ MORE: #BreakingNews: Pelonomi workers down tools - Video

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