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Services at some health facilities in Nelson Mandela Bay have been affected after workers went on an unprotected strike.
The Eastern Cape Health Department says the illegal strike started at the Motherwell Community Health Center where workers are complaining about understaffing.
Spokesman Mkhululi Ndamase said they are committed to resolving the issue.
He says that in the meantime, eight agency staff have been recruited to complete the Motherwell Center until permanent staff come on line.
“We condemn with the contempt it deserves the intimidation of non-striking workers and agency nurses. As such, internal disciplinary procedures will be implemented, which include the application of the principle of no work, no compensation and possible dismissal of those who engaged in an illegal strike,” Ndamase said.
The head of the department, Dr Rolene Wagner, met with union leaders, councilors and community leaders at Motherwell on Friday, but the meeting remained deadlocked.
She told workers that over R700 million had been budgeted in the annual recruitment plan for the current financial year for over 2,700 vacancies.
Wagner assured the meeting that this would be done within the available budget, as the Department had serious budget constraints.
The second reason for the meeting’s deadlock was the workers’ demand to reinstate all COVID-19 contract workers whose contracts ended in late December 2021 and late March 2022.