Union fears jobs bloodbath, embarks on strike at health professions council

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PRETORIA, November 21 – The Tshwane Metro Police Department on Wednesday cordoned off a part of Madiba Street, near the Union Buildings in Pretoria, as a crowd of National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) embarked on a protest at the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

“The strike action comes as a result of the arrogance and intransigence by the employer in resolving our genuine demands. The employer has unilaterally implemented the Business Process Engineering (BPR) which might lead to a job bloodbath at the council,” Nehawu said in a statement issued by spokesperson Khaya Xaba.

“Our view is that the employer must consult us and we play a proactive role in the restructuring of the HPCSA.”

Nehawu’s Gauteng provincial secretary Tshepo Mokheranyane told the protesters that they have to stand up for their rights if they are to stop the restructuring process at HPCSA.

“We have taken this decision to embark on this [protest]. It’s good that as workers we have to fight for our own rights. If we don’t stand up and fight for our own rights, no one will do that for us. We can’t ask for workers at [department of] public works to come and fight our battles here. Comrades have taken a decision to run a good race,” said Mokheranyane using a loudhailer.

“Management [of HPCSA], wherever they are, they are running around trying to find the solution to this impasse. We must not allow the government which has promised us decent work to be the one that retrenches us or to exploit us. It’s important for us to get the proper consultation.”

The HPCSA guides and regulates the health professions in South Africa in aspects pertaining to registration, education and training, professional conduct and ethical behaviour, ensuring continuing professional development, and fostering compliance with healthcare standards.

All individuals who practice any of the health care professions incorporated in the scope of the HPCSA are obliged by the Health Professions Act to register with the HPCSA. Failure to do so constitutes a criminal offence.

HPCSA management could not be reached for comment on the Nehawu protest.

– African News Agency (ANA)