Nurses at Life Westville Hospital picket for 7% pay increase

Nurses at Life Westville Hospital picket for 7% pay increase

Health professionals at Life Westville Hospital are locked in a wage dispute with management.

Life Westville Hospital picket
Lauren Beukes

Nursing staff held lunchtime pickets at the building's entrance on Tuesday saying they're unhappy with the 5% pay increase offer, they are calling instead for 7%. 

A theatre nurse who does not want to be named says working conditions need to be improved. 

"There is no tea break, there are no lunch breaks, and they just expect us to work like human robots." 

Another nurse says many people are suffering from burnout.

"We get treated like dirt. Nobody cares not even our management. There will be days where we are running back-to-back, not even an appreciation note from them. Then when staff gets burnt out they get frustrated then it leads to this." 

Neera-Dajh Harinarin who's with the Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of South Africa, says staff members are asking for a 7% salary hike. 

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"Negotiations have been going from last year, so this year January they did reach a deadlock. If we have to do into further industrial action, then we will have to take it further. 

Management at the hospital says although it's locked in a wage dispute with some medical staff operations at the facility are continuing as normal. 

Life Westville Hospital says while negotiations continue, employees must understand the current economic situation, inflation and other factors play a role in determining the pay rise. 

But management has said in a statement that it will continue to hold discussions with staff and the representatives as it tries to resolve the disputes as soon as possible. 

In the meantime, it's assured current patients and those who will be going to the hospital for treatment that their health care is a top priority. 

Staff members say they'll continue to picket during the lunch breaks and non-working hours. 

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