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Nehawu pickets outside Union Building over working COVID-19 conditions

The union is demanding an 8% salary increase for front line workers fighting the coronavirus.

FILE: Nehawu members protest for better working conditions on 26 August 2020. Picture: Nehawu AD/Facebook

JOHANNESBURG - The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) was picketing outside the Union Buildings on Monday morning, demanding answers from President Cyril Ramaphosa over their working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic.

The union is demanding an 8% salary increase for front line workers fighting COVID-19.

The union handed over a memorandum to government two weeks ago.

General secretary Zola Saphetha said that their demands were realistic.

"This settlement agreement is a three-year agreement that came into effect in 2018. We are only going to get paid the last leg of that agreement and unfortunately, there has not been another agreement. It was just a matter of inflation plus one and this agreement was signed at a time when there was no COVID-19."

Nehawu is adamant that government does have the finances to pay healthcare workers the salary increase they were promised before the COVID-19 outbreak

Saphetha said that Treasury now claimed that there was no money for increases: "Those who are looting billions, be it from COVID-19 interventions or billions from the state, where are they stealing this money from? You can’t steal money from nothing. They are stealing money from money."

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