21 September 2017

South Africa: Gauteng Health On Illegal Strike By Emergency Medical Services Personnel

press release

Gauteng Emergency Medical Services not affected by illegal strike

Gauteng Department of Health wishes to assure the public that Emergency Medical Services (EMS) have not been affected by the illegal strike by certain EMS personnel today. Further, we can confirm that all the staff members who were supposed to be on duty today have duly reported as expected. Officials participating in the illegal strike are off-duty whilst others come from other provinces.

Central to the issues of the employees is the interpretation of working hours (shift work). The Department has a court order in its favour relating to the staff interpretation of working hours for shift workers. This matter has been elevated to both National Department of Health and on the agenda for Public Health Sectoral Bargaining Council.

The Department recognises the right of workers to negotiate for better working conditions and has been engaging the striking workers with a view to finding solution to their concerns.

We are disappointed that the officials have chosen to ignore exploring and exhausting all available avenues. We therefore, plead with officials to desist from the illegal strike and allow negotiations to continue.

We commend all the committed EMS personnel who appreciate the fact that they offer an essential service and have committed work to ensure that all the issues are settled in the shortest possible time.

The Department will do everything in its power to make sure that the lives of people in Gauteng are not put in jeopardy during the strike.

In cases of emergency the public should continue to use the Emergency Numbers 10117 and 112. However, should any members of the public experience any inconvenience they should contact Gauteng EMS Help Desk on 011 564 2235.

Issued by: Gauteng Health

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