Sterkfontein Hospital employees reinstated after agreement with health department
Twenty-five Sterkfontein Hospital employees were reinstated after reaching an agreement about their concerns, the Gauteng department of health said on Tuesday.
The employees were dismissed on May 19 after engaging in an unprotected strike.
“The illegal strike carried out by the workers disrupted hospital services and ignored the lockdown rules which prohibited public gatherings. The service disruption affected various areas of the hospital, including the usual multidisciplinary team’s morning visits to patients, which could not be undertaken as employees were locked outside the facility,” acting health MEC Jacob Mamabolo said.
Mamabolo said the employees filed an appeal with his office and had also referred the matter to the bargaining council for arbitration.
He said after “fruitful” negotiations between the department and the union, it was agreed the workers be reinstated.
“The doors of engagement will always be open. It is in our interest to listen to the concerns employees want to raise with the employer. However, this must be done within the confines of labour relations provisions, especially considering that workers in health render what is called an essential service, and their work has a direct affect on the wellbeing of patients.”