South Africans will find out on Tuesday if the strike by workers in the social development sector under the auspices of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) will be called off or not.
The employer presented labour with a revised offer last week, but the union could not complete its consultative process with its members by Thursday.
When contacted on Friday, Nehawu spokesperson Khaya Xaba said their members had raised a number of issues they were not happy with and as a result, the consultative process took longer than anticipated.
Xaba told The Citizen on Monday the decision to call off the strike would be determined by the employer’s response to the matters raised by employees.
“If they don’t address the issues raised by employees, the strike is likely to continue,” Xaba said.
He said among the workers’ demands were a guarantee from the employer that workers would not be victimised or forced to appear before disciplinary hearings.
“They also don’t want the no work, no pay rule to be applied because of their participation in the strike,” added Xaba.
“We will possibly make an official announcement regarding the strike on Tuesday,” Xaba said.
The strike, which started a few weeks ago in the wake of the unresolved social grants debacle, has already had a negative effect on operations at different child care centres.
Gauteng MEC for social development, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza, said last week more than 90 children had to be moved from the department’s child and youth care centre to another.
One of the children, a six-month-old baby, died but Mayathula-Khoza said it was not clear what caused the little girl’s death.
He stressed the fact that the little girl, along with other children, had to be moved due to acts of violence by striking workers, with the job of protecting children very challenging.
Nehawu has since denied the involvement of any of its members in reported incidents of intimidation and violence during the strike.