Medscheme pay strike continues

Penwell Dlamini

Penwell Dlamini

More than 700 Medscheme workers continued their nationwide strike yesterday after wage talks broke down.

The strike started on Monday with 743 members of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) demanding a 15percent wage increase. They have been has offered fivepercent.

Nehawu's national organiser, Vusi Mabisela, said: "Wage negotiations started in November, but deadlocked on January 15 this year."

Mabizela said that on Friday Nehawu served Medscheme management with a 24-hour notice to strike if their demands were not met.

Other demands include a 12,9 percent increase in the medical aid subsidy, 70percent housing subsidy, a skills-development plan and employment equity.

The strike involves members in Gauteng, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

A last-minute meeting to stop the industrial action failed on Monday.

"Medscheme is now offering a seven percent increase, but we will only accept ninepercent. So the strike continues," said Mabizela.

Medscheme executive director Lee Callakoppen said: "We will continue to engage the union until we reach common ground."