Union warns Sisulu, new public service minister
THE National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union, the biggest public sector union, has warned the new Minister of Public Services and Administration Lindiwe Sisulu to do away with her hostile attitude towards unions.
During her tenure as minister of defence, Sisulu was opposed to having a union representing soldiers.
Nehawu said it welcomed Sisulu's appointment and it hoped she would resolve workers' grievances.
"Our union looks forward to working with Minister Lindiwe Sisulu in resolving a myriad issues that affect workers in the public service.
"We are nonetheless troubled by her history of intolerance in dealing with workers, as evidenced by her relationship with the union that represented the soldiers during her tenure as a minister of defence."
"We warn her that her new portfolio will need a new orientation on her part if we are to have a cordial relationship going forward," said Nehawu spokesman Sizwe Pamla.
Cosatu unions (Sadtu, Nehawu and Denosa) and independent unions are currently locked in wage negotiations with the employer.
Unions initially demanded 8.7% and a R1,500 housing allowance, while the employer is offering 5.9% and a R900 housing allowance. But further talks have led to the employer going up to 6.5% and the unions going down to 8%.
Pamla said Nehawu would give Sisulu "unqualified support" in changing and improving the lives of the people for the better on condition she cooperated with the union.
During its national policy conference over the weekend, Nehawu resolved that there was a need for Cosatu, the ANC and the SACP alliance to convene a summit to develop a common perspective that would result in an offensive against capitalism and imperialism.
The conference also agreed with the proposed measures for the establishment of a fully fledged state minerals company.
Nehawu has called for the nationalisation of land as a basis for national social cohesion and to ensure that it would be available for use and shared among those who work it.