National Health And Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) members have suspended a strike at the National Health Laboratory Service‚ pending the finalisation of a settlement agreement.
However‚ the Public Servants Association (PSA)‚ which represents professionals in the service‚ said its members would remain on strike.
The strike has crippled the service‚ which provides laboratory and related public health services to over 80% of the population through a national network of laboratories.
NHLS has been using private laboratory services for emergency tests required by hospitals.
Nehawu spokesman Khaya Xaba said on Wednesday the union consulted its members on Monday and Tuesday to get their views on the offer tabled by management.
The offer included a 7.3% salary increase‚ the employment by NHLS of workers involved in the gardening‚ cleaning and security services‚ and an increase in medical aid subsidies.
“Our members accepted the offer made by the employer during our consultation with them between Monday and Tuesday. We expect to sign an agreement with the employer on Friday‚” Xaba said.
However‚ PSA deputy general manager Tahir Maepa said the strike was still on from PSA’s side.
He said the union represented 45% of the workforce at the NHLS.
“The majority of our members have rejected the offer. However‚ we are going to partake in a meeting this afternoon which was called by the employer to resolve the impasse‚” Maepa said.
Maepa said the offer by the employer did not resolve pertinent issues from previous agreements.
“Our members believe there is no way we can retreat at this late stage‚” Maepa said.
Source: TMG Digital.