Young nurses trade union. Image: Young nurses trade union, Facebook page
Black First Land First (BLF) supports the call by the Young Nurses Indaba Trade Union (YNITU) for a stayaway from Workers’ Day, should their demands – which include nationalization of health care; as well as the provision of adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), compensation, danger allowance, and a six-month income tax break for front-line workers of the COVID-19 pandemic – not be met by government.
BLF acknowledges the hardships that nurses are enduring as a result of the pandemic, namely:
1. Government has not honored a collective agreement to adjust the poor salaries of nurses on 1 April thereby forcing the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) and other unions to declare a dispute at the PSCBC against the government.
2. The Department of Health has not provided any support with transportation, and traveling costs have doubled in the period of the crisis.
3. Ramaphosa has granted huge tax relief incentives for big business, but no relief has been accorded to nurses. In the meantime countries such as Ghana have given healthcare workers a four months tax break as a token of appreciation for their selfless work during the crisis;
4. There is a huge lack of PPE and nurses are viciously exposed to the risk of contracting the virus, as many already have. To this end calls for payment of Danger Allowance to nurses have been ignored.
5. Nurses have not received their compulsory Uniform Allowance, which was due for payment on 1 April.
6. Healthcare facilitates are understaffed and there is a lack of counseling support for nurses.
President Ramaphosa, in his COVID-19 relief package announcement, gave nothing to frontline workers (especially nurses) who are required to see to patients without the necessary protection and relief.
BLF calls on government to accede to the demands of the nurses, and stop paying lip service to their importance. These workers have been neglected for far too long.
Issued by Black First Land First, National Coordinating Committee of (BLF NCC)
28 April 2020
Black First Land First Mail: [email protected]
(BLF Deputy President)
Cell: +27 79 986 7225
Reposted from the BLF website.