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Nehawu threatens to strike if demands are not met

The organisation's members joined several marches on Friday to protest against an unfair wage structure and general unfavorable working conditions.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) is demanding the Department of Social Development fill thousands of vacant social worker posts by April or face strike action.

The organisation's members joined several marches across the country on Friday, to protest against an unfair wage structure and general unfavorable working conditions.

During the Cape Town leg of the march, the union slammed Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, saying she has failed dismally to address workers' grievances.

Nehawu declared the Friday march a “warning shot” to the department and Dlamini.

The trade union says it's unacceptable that the department has registered a 48% vacancy rate for social work posts since January.

Nehawu's second deputy president Nyameka Macanda says this is happening while thousands of social work graduates remain jobless.

“The department’s failure to absorb young social work graduates not only robs young people but also affects the quality of services our communities receive.”

The union also wants the department to permanently employ all contract workers in the gender-based violence centres and realign its wage structure to ensure workers are compensated fairly.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)