Care Workers Unite & Fight

Since 2010, the government has introduced “Re-engineering” of Healthcare in South Africa. They have focused mainly on rolling out this new system in three streams of primary health care (PHC):

  1. a ward based PHC outreach team for each electoral ward;
  2. strengthening school health services; and
  3. district based clinical specialist teams.

The Ward Based Outreach Teams (WBOT) are to be made up of 6 carers, a professional nurse, an environmental health practitioner and a health promoter. Currently there are about 70,000 Community Health Workers (CHW’s) and the government is reducing the number to 45,000.

THIS MEANS THAT MANY OF US WILL BE RETRENCHED IF WE DO NOT ORGANISE AND RESPOND.

We support improving the health care system but not by dumping us. We need more CHW’s not less. We must campaign for improving the public healthcare system by government investing more resources into it and NOT LESS. The NHI must ensure that rich people and private healthcare is taxed more to invest in public healthcare for the majority of our people. WE CANNOT ALLOW EXPERIENCED CARERS TO BE DUMPED.

We Demand our Workers’ Rights and a Living Wage

As care workers we provide a valuable service to our communities and society at large yet we are suffering with several problems. These problems include low wages, a lack of labour rights that most other workers have because we are treated as “volunteers”, hard and sometimes dangerous work without health and safety protection, no social protection and benefits like retirement funds and medical aid and unfair contracts of employment.  

We deserve to be treated like professional healthcare workers. Like all other workers, we need and deserve a living wage and decent working conditions.

Why do we have these problems?

Over the years our employer (the government) has grown the number of care workers to improve healthcare for our communities and to deal with the bigger demands on the system caused by poverty and the HIV & Aids pandemic. However, the government has recruited us as “volunteers” and many of us are outsourced to be employed by NGOs. This has meant that we are paid very low wages (stipends) and do not enjoy the workers’ rights and protections in the country’s labour laws.

The government has used us as very cheap labour in the healthcare system to save and cut costs and to do work that better paid healthcare professionals would otherwise have done. WE NEED AND DESERVE DECENT EMPLOYEE STATUS AND A LIVING WAGE!

We must Unite and Organise

On 23 – 26 June 2015, a national meeting was held in Johannesburg of representatives of care workers in all provinces. We decided that the best way for us to improve our situation and win our rights is to form our own care workers union.

We plan to launch our union late next year (2016) with a big membership. In the meanwhile we will register the union and represent care workers to employers.

We need to organise, organise and organise and UNITE – build our national, democratic and independent union – the National Union of Care Workers of South Africa.

Attend NUCWOSA meetings and give your mandate for us to demand and Fight for Union rights, a living wage and NO Retrenchments.

NUCWOSA contact persons

Province       Name & SURNAMEContact number
Eastern CapePinky MAKINANA   064 591 2966
 Ruby MUTSI   073 604 6730
Free StatePalesa NKOE081 069 1486
 William MORE083 765 6267
GautengThandi VILAKAZI078 952 5188
 Mapule LLALE   079 746 0079
 Khosi GANAMFANA   073 406 8806
KwaZulu-Natal   Muzi MZOYI   083 331 4484
LimpopoColbert HLONGWANE078 080 9185
 Lucy RABOPHALA   079 310 1424
 Clarah MAHLANGU   073 733 6447
MpumalangaBonga THUBENI     072 649 7687
 Annastacia MAGOBOSHA079 903 3504
 Enoch MBATSANE   079 396 9322
Northern Cape   Nombulelo074 561 4467
 Dikgetsi072 155 7933
North West  Bella SEETETSO083 412 1174
 Simon RAMAPUPUTLA078 189 9132
Western Cape       Nobuntu MFENGWANA   063 434 0752
 Noluthando MATSHOBA076 047 5606

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