Public sector union gears for Sassa strike


JOHANNESBURG, September 14 – Members of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) is preparing to down tools at the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) next month.

The Cosatu affiliated union said it allowing the government time to consider tabled demands and that workers’ have run out of patience.

”Having served the notice to strike on the 16th August 2018, instead, Sassa chose to file an application for a variation of the 2016 Essential Services committee that grant administration forms part of essential services designation, as an attempt to avert our strike. In this regard, we want to inform the public, in particular, the grant beneficiaries that our demands still remain,” the union said in a statement on Friday.

Nehawu’s demands include the suspension of the biometric enrollments of grant beneficiaries and that job evaluations be undertaken.

The envisaged strike comes hot on the heels of that of the rival union, Public Service Association (PSA), at Sassa. The union then took the public service and administration ministry to court to force the minister to allow them to negotiate salaries and not only comply with agreements signed at the public servants’ bargaining council. The strike hit the agency hard at the time it started switching grants disbursements from Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to the post office, banks and other cash merchants.

Nehawu said it would start mobilising members from September 24 across the country, with the strike set to start on October 10.

”Furthermore, the union will use the 13th Cosatu national congress [taking place from September 17) to share the plight our members with a view to secure a special resolution at this Congress. We will also be convening a meeting with the leadership of the South African Communist Party (SACP) as a vanguard of our members with a view to support and join our strike.”

– African News Agency (ANA)