Resolutions of the National Union of Care Workers of South Africa

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Adopted at the inaugural congress of NUCWOSA, held 23 – 25 November 2016 in Kempton Park, Johannesburg

On Occupational Health and Safety issues affecting Community Care Workers (CCW’s)

Noting

and believing

 we therefore resolve to:

  1. Develop a campaign focusing on our occupational health and safety (OHS) and related labour rights at the workplace to sensitise and raise awareness about our rights as CCWs;
  2. Develop information sheets and videos on OHS to share on Whatsapp and other social media platforms;
  3. Partner with organisations that provide education and support on (OHS) to assist us;
  4. Develop a specific set of demands regarding our OHS for collective bargaining with employers and to assert our rights in relevant labour laws such as the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
  5. Influence the DoH to partner with the SAPS, Community Policing Forums and Traditional Leaders to provide protection to CCWs who do fieldwork;
  6. Advocate for security personnel to be provided at all clinics;
  7. Develop a campaign for the development and maintenance of a database that captures our issues relating to OHS;
  8. Demand that transport be provided to CCW’s, particularly for those in rural areas walking long distances and those in known unsafe areas.

 
On the Growth and Development of NUCWOSA

RESOLUTION ON REGISTRATION

  1. Feedback to the general membership regarding the congress should be completed by the end of January 2017;
  2. The registration documents should be submitted to the DOL preferably by the middle of January 2017 but no later than the end of January;
  3. Contracts should be signed with organisers to be identified by the NOBs;
  4. Examples of employment contracts (two per branch) together with the Labour Court judgement confirming the employee status of care workers should be submitted;
  5. Leases should be signed with WWMP in respect of the use of portions of WWMP offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg;
  6. The newly elected NOBs should be responsible for the submission and monitoring of the registration process.

 RESOLUTION ON MEMBERSHIP

  1. That NUCWOSA recruit care workers in the health, social development and child care sectors;
  2. That the general secretary be responsible for general administration and the capturing and monitoring of membership;
  3. That the union obtain assistance from SACTWU and NUMSA with WW assistance to set up an efficient administration system and as soon as is practically possible employ a national administrator.

RESOLUTION ON RECRUITMENT

  1. To build a national recruitment campaign which starts at branch level but which is planned at branch, provincial and national level with appropriate structures and strategies to be devised at each level;
  2. Every member and shop steward to participate in this campaign;
  3. Targets should be set at each level and be monitored by the relevant structures;
  4. These targets to be set after research is completed into the number of workers and work places in each branch/province;
  5. These targets to be set by the end of January 2017.

RESOLUTION ON SUBSCRIPTIONS

  1. The current constitutional subscription fee of 1% of wages be adhered to once stop orders are negotiated;
  2. While hand collection of subscriptions is continuing, the flat rate of R20 per month should remain in place;
  3. All monies earmarked for NUCWOSA by funders should be deposited in the NUCWOSA bank account;
  4. The union should have three signatories from the NOBs (these being, the president, the general secretary and the national treasurer) with any two being empowered to sign off expenditure;
  5. As a temporary measure, until NUCWOSA has full-time officials, Workers World Media Productions (WWMP) should check each proposed disbursement of funds to ensure that expenditure is relevant, reasonable and in line with union policies and resolutions;
  6. Strict financial controls should be put in place and WWMP should assist in drafting a budget as soon as possible;
  7. Quarterly financial reports (income and expenditure) must be submitted to the NOBs for distribution to the provincial and branch structures.


On union staffing, the role of national office bearers and support NGO’s like WWMP

 Noting

Believing

Resolves

  1. Elected leaders must be trained in Union organising with the assistance of WWMP;
  2. More effort must be put into collecting membership fees to ensure that the Union remains functional and can support our organising, education/training and administration costs;
  3. Establish partnerships with care worker unions in other countries so that we learn from each other;
  4. Develop strategic partnerships with other organisations to advance the struggle of care-workers and assist us in various areas to build NUCWOSA;
  5. We mandate our NC and NOB’s to review and negotiate the terms of our service agreement with WWMP for administrative, organising, training and media support for 2017 and beyond.


On the struggle for a Living Wage, Job Security and decent Conditions of Work

RESOLUTION ON THE STRUGGLE FOR A LIVING WAGE

Noting that:

Believing that:

We therefore resolve:

  1. To embark on a campaign to demand from government a Living Wage of R6,500 per month for all care workers.


RESOLUTION ON JOB SECURITY

Noting that:

Believing:

We therefore resolve to:

  1. Combat outsourcing through various forms of industrial action;
  2. Enforce the release of the national policy on care givers;
  3. Fight and defend CCW’s from super-exploitation and job insecurity;
  4. Continue campaigning to end the Smart Purse contract in Gauteng and all other instances of outsourcing.

 
RESOLUTION ON THE SECURING OF DECENT CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

Noting that:

Believing that:

We resolve:

  1. To apply mass action in fighting for provision of provident fund, medical aid and housing allowances and other social benefits;
  2. To place the demand for care givers salary to relevant bargaining councils and employers and where possible join such collective bargaining structures;
  3. To fight for a Living Wage in our quest to improve the living standard of care givers.


On changing CCW’s status to ‘Employees” and other worker rights

Noting that:

Believing that:

We therefore resolve that:

  1. We should be fully engaged in all processes that involve us eg the drafting of policies by government;
  2. We be recognised as permanent government employees with full benefits;
  3. NUCWOSA must begin campaigns that will focus on Occupational Health and Safety issues, a meaningful minimum wage and a Living Wage;
  4. We demand Performance Management Development System (PMDS)
  5. Government end outsourcing and labour broking;
  6. CCWs receive clear written contracts and be given time to study the contact before signing;
  7. CCWs receive recognition on the professional nurse level after appropriate training and support provided by government;
  8. Stipends, meagre travel allowances and food parcels no longer be given to us as compensation for the work we are doing;
  9. NUCWOSA be recognised by the employers and Department of Labour;
  10. CCWs receive an annual bonus (thirteenth cheque).

 

On Government’s Re-engineering of Healthcare: Outsourcing, Retrenchments – and its impact on CCWs and our Communities and on the need to build a United Front of CCWs

RESOLUTION ON RE-ENGINEERING OF HEALTH CARE

Noting that:

And believing that:

We therefore resolve to:

  1. Mobilise, recruit, organise and elect shop stewards in all provinces;
  2. Engage the employers (social / health), politicians, internal and external stakeholders and the community at large;
  3. Obtain media coverage (tv, print, radio – community, commercial and public) of our mass actions;
  4. SADEC- invade the meeting by planning a national march to the summit;
  5. Join the Eastern Cape annual march and give NUCWOSA visibility.

 
RESOLUTION ON OUTSOURCING

Noting that:

And believing that NUCWOSA must:

We therefore resolve to:

  1. Engage and bargain collectively for the improvement of workers wages and other working conditions through the strengthening of a united front movement of all care workers and other workers affected by outsourcing;
  2. Immediately identity all provincial stakeholders or organisations sharing the same objective.

 

RESOLUTION ON RETRENCHMENTS

Noting that:

And believing that:

We therefore resolve to:

  1. Train shop stewards to be more informed and knowledgeable about labour law;
  2. Get support from other legal entities eg paralegal services;
  3. Promote the professional status of workers through training;
  4. Instruct all branch secretaries to submit a program for shop steward training before the end of December 2016 and implement it from January 2017.


RESOLUTION ON RIVAL UNIONS/ORGANIZATIONS

 Noting that rival unions/organisations:

And believing that:

We therefore resolve:

  1. To engage and bargain collectively;
  2. To take all necessary steps to protect members rights and advance their legitimate interests;
  3. To recruit all CCWs into NUCWOSA;
  4. To identify rival unions and other supporting structures/forums and devise strategies to counter their negative actions;
  5. To educate our members by February 2017 about the importance of forming united fronts with those unions/forums that are genuine about the workers struggle.

 
RESOLUTION ON THE FORMATION OF A UNITED FRONT OF CARE WORKERS

Noting that:

And believing that:

We therefore resolve that:

  1. All provincial structures must identify rival trade unions and supporting struggles to form a united front for the sake of workers struggle;
  2. We must engage with the community at large and all other parties directly and indirectly involved in our work;
  3. We must support the struggle of other marginalised workers;
  4. We must popularise our union to other structures in the struggle.
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