Pay dispute at new clinic
A group of nurses have threatened to bring services at the new R70-million clinic in Nelspruit to a halt after the Mpumalanga department of health told them salaries they were promised will have to be cut.
Barely two months after the Nelspruit Community Health Care Centre was opened a pay dispute threatens to shut the clinic's doors. The clinic has 13 nurses and one doctor.
When staff were due to get paid last month nurses were told they would not be getting paid.
"On the 30th, at about 6pm, I got a call from the hospital manager who told me my salary had not been paid," said one of the nurses.
The nurses asked not to be named for fear of victimisation.
A few days later the nurses went to the provincial office where they were allegedly told there had been a misprint in the job advert published in May 2010 and in the appointment letters they received a few days before the clinic's opening.
"We were told the department could not afford to pay our salaries and they would be cut," said another nurse.
The nurses received payments on September 9 and 13. But it was not the salaries they had expected.
Twelve of the nurses signed a memorandum demanding their money or they would go on strike.
Mpumalanga health spokesman Dumisani Mlangeni said: "The department is sorting out the matter. We will conclude it before the end of the month."
DA spokesman for health in the province James Masango said MEC for health Clifford Mkasi should intervene.
"Not only did the department employ half the recommended personnel, but now it seems they cannot even pay those who are already on the payroll and are supposed to be budgeted for," Masango said.