Trade union Solidarity will bring an urgent application in the Johannesburg Labour Court on Tuesday, 16 October 2018. This follows after the Health Department incorrectly placed one of Solidarity’s members as a student nurse instead of a professional nurse for her compulsory community service.
According to Anton van der Bijl, head of Labour Law Services at Solidarity, the department steadfastly refuses to correct the problem despite the fact that they are legally obliged to place nurses correctly for their community service.
According to Van der Bijl, Ms Perelaer receives a student salary since January although her service contract stipulates that she has been appointed as a professional nurse and also that she is performing the corresponding tasks. When making further enquiries, she was informed that no positions for professional nurses are available and that the department does not have the necessary funding for such positions.
“If this negligence is not addressed, it could have a profound impact on Ms Perelaer’s future as a nurse since she would be unable to register after her period of community service, not to mention the financial impact it has had on her this year,” Van der Bijl explained.
“Here we have a case where a young person wants to do everything in her power to make a valuable contribution to society, just to be obstructed by the Department of Health. While money is made available to fund the government’s election politics, the man on the street is dying due to a shortage of competent nursing staff,” said Van der Bijl.
“The public is sick and tired of incompetent government departments. We will fight unabated for justice for medical personnel, and to ensure that the Department of Health meets their statutory duties to place these medical personnel for their community service years,” concluded Van der Bijl.
Photo: Mia Slabbert