Tuesday, 10 April 2018
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in Limpopo held its first Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) meeting of the year at Bolivia Lodge few days ago into the weekend to deliberate on a number of issues facing health workers in general and nurses in particular.
The PEC joined millions of South Africans and the world by paying tribute to the late comrade Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, a freedom, a fighter stalwart and the anti-Apartheid icon, who passed on at the age of 81.
The PEC resolved on the following critical issues:
On Rationalisation of Human Resources
The PEC noted that the Limpopo Department of Health has started a consultation process on Rationalisation of human resources in the province. However, DENOSA wish to register its disappointment about the pre-emptive transfer of nurses prior to the end of the consultation process. It is as a result of this that PEC resolved to instruct DENOSA members not to comply with any transfer attempt pending the logical conclusion of the consultative process.
On Limpopo Department of health Organisational Structure
The PEC resolved to totally oppose the proposed Organisational structure as it does not bring synergy with that of the National Department of Health. The current proposed structure is clearly undermining and decimating the nursing profession in the province.
§ It does not have a head responsible for PHC, Nursing Education and Nursing Services.
§ There is a Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer (CNMO) in the National Department of Health in line with Nursing Strategy. However, when we refer to the proposed structure, the position does not exist and there is a gross deviation from the Nursing Strategy.
As DENOSA we need a structure that will be congruent with the National Department of Health structure to allow swift flow of nursing and midwifery issues. The CNMO will advise the MEC with regards to Nursing and Midwifery issues in the Province. The statusquo should remain until the consultation process is finalised at the level of Provincial Chamber.
On unavailability of Health MEC on key nursing issues
DENOSA is displeased about unavailability of the MEC of Health when needed for engagement on issues affecting employees, nurses in particular. Our view is that it would seem the MEC does not take nursing issues seriously.
The PEC resolved to take up mass action in response to the challenges faces by nurses employed by Limpopo Department of Health. The meeting agreed that DENOSA should fight for the following issues:
§ Attack of nurses on media platforms by the MEC of Health in Limpopo without establishing facts which in our view is reckless and demoralizing to nurses.
§ Fight for scrapping of Treasury Note 7 which makes it difficult to appoint nurses and pay outstanding benefits e.g. Performance bonuses, translations, grade progressions.
§ Fight for employment of nurses to curb the dire shortages
§ Fight for appointment of Managers who are on acting positions.
§ Fight for NHI implementation. No meetings have been held since 2016 to tabulate progress report.
§ Fight for safety and security of nurses in various institutions.
§ Fight to demand a meeting with the MEC of Health to address pertinent issues in the public health sector.
§ Fight for the scrapping of 1 % Vat increase to 15%
Therefore the PEC further resolved to embark on the following actions:
a) Lunch hour pickets
18th – 25th April 2018
- Regional, Branches , local Leadership and all nurses
- Workplaces in the province
b) Provincial pickets
18th April 2018 and 25 April 2018
- All Leadership and all nurses
- Premier’s Office
The PEC further resolved that if the MEC fails to confirm a meeting within 14 days, DENOSA will have no option other than to act decisively.The meeting further called for solidarity support with the other unions organising in health sector for possible industrial action in the province. The PEC warned the employers, particularly the Limpopo Provincial Health Department and Provincial Government not to play with fire and urgently address the grievances confronting nurses.
On Gender issues
The PEC resolved that:
a) Branches, Locals and Regions to launch gender structures and to do more work to encourage women participation and support gender programmes
b) Ensure that Branches, locals and Regional reports to our future meetings include women and gender activities.
On upcoming Regional and Provincial Congresses
PEC resolved to have on the following dates for congresses:
§ Regional congresses from 04 June 2018 to 19 June 2018
§ Learner Movement Congress, 28-29 July 2018
§ Provincial Congress from 02-03 August 2018.
On International Nurses Day Celebration
PEC demonstrated its disappointment to learn that there is no budget set aside by Department of Health for International Nurses Day celebration in Limpopo for 2018. It has been always a trend to co-host the celebration with the Health Department. PEC resolved that International Nurses Day Celebration will be held at Bolivia Lodge on 11/05/2018 starting at 10h00. The theme of this year reads thus, ‘‘NURSES: A VOICE TO LEAD, HEALTH IS A HUMAN RIGHT”.
On Primary Health Care (PHC) 24 hour’s service centres
PEC noted the frustration confronted by the nurses and communities with regard to collapse in the implementation of PHC 24 Hours Service Policy as a result of inadequate security and shortage of nurses. The situation is aggravated by failure of the Department of Health Limpopo to appoint 108 newly-qualified professional nurses.
§ DENOSA demands employment of 108 nurses who are currently staying at home to improve service delivery and relieve workload on the nurses in the clinics and hospitals in the province.
§ The community is denied access to quality health services as most of the clinics stopped rendering 24 hours services.
§ DENOSA demands that Limpopo Health Department strengthens security measures in the clinics as nurses were reported in the past to have been attacked and robbed at gunpoint.
On 2018 Intake of 4 year course Student Nurses
The 2018 Intake of Student nurses in Limpopo College of Nursing came with challenges of misleading the candidates and the public at large by stating that the students will be put on a persal system. Upon arrival in the college on o1 February 2018, the Department failed to give the students contracts.
It should be noted that students have not yet received their stipend as promised during recruitment and they are currently starving and without learning material. PEC noted with disappointment poor planning on the side of the employer and resolved that the student nurses will be led to oppose this ill-treatment and to pressurize the department to correct this anomaly. DENOSA Limpopo urged the Department of Health to stop taking advantage of the vulnerable students and future nurses by implementing persal system as per their commitment during recruitment.
On Translation of nurses following upgrading of qualifications, Grade progression and payment of PMDS bonuses.
DENOSA wishes to applaud the Health in Limpopo for fulfilling their commitment of translating nurses who upgraded their qualifications. These nurses were frustrated from the year 2015, the delay caused unnecessary negative financial implication. DENOSA is disappointed with the implementation which resulted in Speciality nurses not backdated retrospectively from the date of completion of their studies in line with Provincial study Leave Guidelines.
The PEC resolved to demand immediate correction of the deviation. It is for the first time in the history of Limpopo Department of Health that nurses go to the next financial year without receiving their performance bonuses and grade progression.
§ DENOSA demands immediate payment of performance bonuses and grade progressions.
On political matters
PEC congratulated the ANC for a successful 54th Conference and the subsequent replacement of the former president Cde Jacob Zuma by Cde Cyril Ramaphosa as the president of the ANC and the country. PEC wishes that the unity in the ANC and the alliance partners can prevail.
On the VAT increase
DENOSA PEC resolved to reject VAT increase by 1% from 14% to 15% with effect from 01 April 2018, and an increase of fuel levy by 22c per litre and the road accident fund levy by 30c per litre effective from 01 April 2018.
We demand that all food items, water, electricity, books and school uniform to be zero rated. A written submission was made to parliament through COSATU and if we do not get a positive response, we will mobilize workers for a strike against VAT increase.
On National Health Insurance (NHI)
The PEC notes that 2018 marks the first year of the second phase of NHI Implementation. The first phase of NHI implementation as envisaged by the revised NHI white paper included the establishment of pilot projects, establishment of NHI work teams that will make recommendations on the implementation of NHI, strengthening of the health system as well as establishment of institutions such as the Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC) and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority.
Given the enabling legislative framework as well as the allocation of funds into the NHI fund we expect no further delays in the implementation of NHI. DENOSA calls for the following:
§ The National Department of health must adhere to the targets as set by the NHI white paper.
§ We call for the mid-term review of the NHI implementation plan to assess if the 1st phase targets were achieved.
§ The establishment of NHI implementation structures with labour represented in each committee.
On international matter
PEC note that DENOSA continue to play pivotal role at an international front through the structures that we are affiliated to, namely the International Council of Nurses (ICN), Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Conference (CNMF), Eastern Central and the Southern Africa Confederation of Nurses and Midwives (ECSACON) and the Southern Africa Network of Nurses and Midwives (SANNAM), and BRICS Nursing Forum.
Issued by DENOSA Limpopo
For more information contact:
Cornwell Khoza, Provincial Secretary
Mobile: 072 576 4979
Alfred Makoana, Provincial Chairperson
Mobile: 072 578 2753
Jacob Molepo, Provincial Organiser,
Mobile: 072 587 0684.