RNs - South Africa

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South Africa unions unhappy with government's wage offer

Public servants say a 7.5% increase is not enough. They march through Johannesburg in protest. Robyn Dixon & Kylé Pienaar, Los Angeles Times, September 2, 2010 Johannesburg - A strike by 1.3 million South African public servants threatened Thursday to drag on for a third week as unions signaled that they would reject the government's latest compromise offer, a wage hike that would be more than double the rate of inflation. Zwelinzima Vavi, secretary-general of the main trade union federation, COSATU, said his organization had rejected the offer but that talks continued. Unions representing nurses, health and education workers, and police also said they would reject the offer, and other unions said they would follow suit in the coming days.

Nurses will take the pain

Faranaaz Parker, Mail & Guardian, August 20, 2010 Johannesburg - It is illegal for nurses to strike but the state will find it difficult to take disciplinary action against them and nurses are aware of it. Nursing is one of the essential services, meaning workers may not legally strike. Yet the major nursing unions, with membership in the tens of thousands, joined the strike this week. Freddie Mohai, the general secretary of the South African Democratic Nurses' Union, said nurses were aware that striking could lead to them forfeiting their pay and facing demotion, dismissal or charges of misconduct. ... Nurses

Nurses boycott rages on

Zinhle Mapumulo, Sowetan, August 13, 2010 Students at Mmabatho College of Nursing in North West are still boycotting classes despite an agreement they had with the provincial department of health to return to classes on Tuesday. The agreement was reached last week after the students took the department to court over its decision to stop them from entering the premises following their strike. The court ordered the department to allow the students back to their residence provided they returned to class. ... Nurses

600 nurses graduate in Eastern Cape

Sapa, July 14, 2010 Six hundred nurses, all from the Eastern Cape, graduated in a ceremony at Fort Hare University today (July 14), the provincial health department said. The nurses, who finished a four-year-course in December last year, had already taken up posts at rural hospitals in the province, spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said. They were currently doing their community service, and were bound to the department for another four years after that. The nurses did their training, in midwifery, psychiatric and general nursing, at the province’s Lilitha nursing college. ... 600

Unions act against nurses' pay cut

Lyse Comins, Daily News, July 13, 2010 Trade unions are preparing to take the Department of Health to court after some nurses have had their occupation specific dispensation (OSD) cut, just months after the agreement was finally signed. Some have had salary cuts of up to R10 000 a month, without written notification, nurses say. This has left some of the affected members in a debt trap after they bought properties based on their higher salaries. At least 57 nurses have been affected, mostly in KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo, but the Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) said it was difficult to determine how many people had been affected. ... Unions

Nurses are not murderers

Asanda Fongqo, Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa, May 24, 2010 DENOSA is gravely concerned by the reported alarming number of babies that have died at Charlotte Maxeke Academic and Natalspruit hospitals. Whilst we symphatise with families who have lost their babies, we take strong exception at the depiction of nurses, who are at the forefront of healthcare services as murderers. It cannot be correct for some sectors of the media to convict nurses while the Gauteng Provincial Department of Health and Social Development has pronounced that it will be investigating these cases. ... Nurses

Denosa defends baby death nurses

Sapa, May 21, 2010 The Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) on Friday defended its nurses working at hospitals where 17 infant deaths have been recorded in a week. "Whilst we sympathise with families who have lost their babies, we take strong exception at the depiction of nurses, who are at the forefront of healthcare services, as murderers," Denosa said in a statement. At least 17 infants had died in the past week at hospitals in Gauteng. Six died at Charlotte Maxeke Academic hospital on Tuesday due to diarrhoea. ... Denosa

Hindu nurses in S Africa win bindi battle

Fakir Hassen, Indo-Asian News Service, August 30, 2008 Durban - Married South African Hindu nurses have won the right to continue wearing the traditional red dot, or the bindi, on their foreheads after intervention by the provincial health minister. Officials at the state-run Addington Hospital in Durban had earlier prohibited the wearing of red dots as part of a new dress code. "This is unacceptable. As government we shall respect and protect religious and customary rights at all times," KwaZulu-Natal Health Minister Peggy Nkonyeni Nkonyeni told the website news24.co.za. ... Hindu

Student nurses march to Bhisho to demand paid posts

Avuyile Mngxitama, Dispatch, April 21, 2008 Nursing science students at Fort Hare University in East London marched to Eastern Cape Premier Nosimo Balindlela’s office in Bhisho on Thursday to demand paid student posts. It’s the second time this year the 70 students have protested over the lack of posts following a boycott of classes a few months ago. The Student Nurses’ Organisation (SNO) said they needed the posts to pay their fees and support their families. SNO academic officer Zinziswa Rabe said this week that marching to the premier’s office was their last resort. ... Student

Province‘s nurses set to down tools

Melody Brandon, Weekend Post, April 19, 2008 “I always wanted to be a nurse. There was no other option for me and despite the difficulties I won‘t move to a private hospital, because the community needs us.” These words by a Port Elizabeth nurse reflect the dilemma faced by thousands of Eastern Cape nurses in state hospitals, who say they‘ll have no choice but to down tools next week if the Eastern Cape health department does not meet their demands. More than 500 nurses marched to the department‘s head office in Bhisho last Friday, demanding better pay and working conditions. ... Province

Additional 200 nurses deployed

Sapa, January 19, 2008 Close to 2000 nurses have been deployed to under-served areas across the country since the start of the year, the Department of Health said today. In a statement, the department said it would also open additional nursing colleges to increase the supply of nursing staff. "This is an effort to strengthen nursing services as the backbone of health care delivery in the country," the department said. The nurses would be the last group of health professionals to do community service. ... Additional

Nurses cry foul at promised salary hikes

Jo-Anne Smetherham, Cape Times, January 16, 2008 The largest nurses'
union is threatening to go on an unprotected strike, which would place
its members' jobs at risk, because nurses have allegedly received only
a fraction of the pay rise they were promised. The Department of Health
"tricked" unions into signing an agreement that gives many nurses
increases of between 1 and 3 percent instead of the 20 percent they
were promised, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa
(Denosa) claims. ... Nurses

Salary Increases for Nurses by March

Luyanda Makapela, BuaNews (Tshwane), January 16, 2008 Pretoria - The
Department of Health is on track in implementing salary increases for
nurses in the public sector, a process which is due to be complete by
the end of March. Departmental spokesperson Sibani Mngadi said the
department had made progress in the "enormous task" of upgrading 100
000 nurses' salaries. So far, at least two provincial Health
Departments, Limpopo and the Northern Cape have already completed the
implementation and all other provinces are moving forward with the
implementation. ... Salary

Nurses' pay agreement ‘on track’

Sapa, January 15, 2008 The health department says it is making progress
towards implementing the Occupational Specific Dispensation (OSD)
agreement for nurses, signed last year by all trade unions in the
Public Health and Social Development Sectoral Bargaining Council. "All
100 000 nurses employed by government are expected to benefit from the
implementation of the OSD before 31 March (this year)," it said in a
statement on Tuesday. The department urged all parties to the agreement
to use the established bargaining council to deal with any issues
relating to the implementation of the OSD. ... Nurses

Lack of Nurses With ICU Skills Puts Patients at Risk - Study

Tamar Kahn, Business Day (Johannesburg), January 14, 2008 Cape Town -
Hospitals are grappling with an acute shortage of nurses with the
skills to work in intensive care units (ICUs), posing risks to patients
and driving up health-care costs, according to a national audit
reported in the latest SA Medical Journal. "Our nurses are tired, often
not healthy, and plagued by discontent and low morale," wrote the
researchers. "The quality of the training and continuing medical
education is dubious, (and) there are no effective recruitment and
retention strategies," they said. ... Lack

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