Nurses need to understand labour laws - Health Dept

Nurses yesterday marched to the SA Nursing Council saying they’re overworked and underpaid.

Nurses sing and dance during a march by hundreds of nurses from across the country in central Pretoria for better pay and working conditions. Picture:Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The National Health Department says nurses need to understand that there are established labour laws in South Africa and salaries have to be negotiated at a particular chamber, not directly with Minister Aaron Motsoaledi's office.

Hundreds of health workers marched to the South African Nursing Council in Pretoria yesterday where they handed over a memorandum of grievances to the council and a representative of the health minister.

They say they are being overworked and underpaid.

Nurses from hospitals across Gauteng say it's time government took them seriously and stopped making them look bad in the public eye.

They've given Motsoaledi 14 days to respond to their grievances.

But the minister's spokesperson Joe Maila says while they understand their unhappiness, there are systems and procedures in place that must be followed.

"The issue of salaries is negotiated at a particular chamber and that is where this matter will be taken, and where the decision will be made."

Nurses are also demanding that the department provide them with uniforms.

Maila says the department will look into this.

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