Nurses want compensation

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

KwaZulu-Natal nurses who participated in a recent illegal strike want the provincial health authorities to pay for the losses they suffered during the labour action.

The nurses say their insurance policies have lapsed because they were unable to pay the premiums.

The Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) will meet the provincial department of health next week to discuss the matter.

Hospersa's Noel Desfontaines said yesterday that the department should pay for the financial damage caused by the dismissal of some of the 1034 nurses who were later found innocent of taking part in an illegal strike.

"Our members have forfeited insurances and policies they had been saving in for years," said Desfontaines.

A nursing sister at Edendale Hospital, who was found not guilty by the tribunal, told Sowetan her backpay would not begin to cover the arrears and interest she had accumulated on her house, clothing accounts, furniture, car and other monthly expenses.

Of the dismissed nurses, 673 were given warning letters and 38 were found guilty and fired.

Department of health spokesman Leon Mbangwa could not be reached for comment yesterday.