Nurses threaten to sue department
A GROUP of nurses at the Nelspruit Community Health Centre have threatened to take the Mpumalanga health department to court if their salary dispute is not resolved soon.
Last month, 13 nurses at the R70-million centre were told that their salaries would be cut because the department could not afford to pay the amount they had advertised in May 2010 for the jobs, and which was also stipulated in their appointment letters.
This is barely two months after the health centre was opened, following a two-year delay.
The nurses said although they were paid, albeit two weeks late, they did not get the amount outlined in their appointment letters.
The nurses said they had not been told how much they would be now earning but they are looking at an annual cut of between R20,000 and R40,000.
"I am stressed. I do not know what to do any more. I have been forced to cut down on my expenditure. This is not what I signed up for. We will be forced to take the department to court if the matter is not settled soon," said a nurse who asked not to be named.
"This matter has affected us massively. We will continue working for now but I doubt it will be for long. We will be forced to strike. People will suffer," another nurse said.
Yet another nurse said: "The official said they were being pushed to appoint people so that the clinic could open in August. But that is not our fault. Why did they wait to hire us, let us work and then tell us about the misprint?"
In a memorandum circulated to the nurses about two weeks ago, the department said they would investigate the matter and promised to get back to them by September 30.
"We have not heard anything from the department. Wwe are waiting for officials to arrive to address us," said a nurse.
Mpumalanga health spokesman Dumisani Mlangeni said he was meeting the human resources manager yesterday afternoon and promised an update by today.