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Nehawu wants mediator for parly disciplinary proceedings

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Members of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) in Parliament want an independent person to be appointed to oversee possible disciplinary actions against them.

The workers, who were on strike for more than three weeks and called it off on Wednesday, hope to be back at work on Monday, despite the threat of disciplinary action.

On Wednesday, the striking workers said they would accept a revised offer from Parliament, on condition that no money would be deducted for their participation in the protest, and that no member would be victimised.

But Parliament said the principle of no work, no pay would still apply. Addressing workers on Friday after the finalisation of the agreement with Nehawu national leaders, branch chairperson Sthembiso Tembe said they had conceded to a compromise.

For workers who had only been on strike for four days, the money would be deducted over three months.

And for those who had been striking for the full four weeks, the money would be deducted over eight months.

The deductions would only start after January, as they “had school fees to pay”.

“This was not the position we wanted as the branch. It was negotiated by national leaders. But sometimes we have to swallow our pride and go on. We cannot defy our management.”

Workers must celebrate

In the meantime, he said, they would instruct lawyers to fight the deductions in court.

He said if Parliament insisted on a disciplinary process against certain individuals, they wanted it to be facilitated by an independent body so that they could present their cases clearly.

Tembe encouraged workers to celebrate their victory, as they had managed to get their bonus payment structure changed from being based on monthly to annual salaries.

“Go home, rest, celebrate. We did not get all we wanted, but we fought a good fight.”

The workers will hear on Monday if the final agreement has been processed, but will show up ready for work.

Nehawu branch leaders also told them that if it went according to the agreement, then their bonuses would be paid this month.

On Friday, an temporary interdict obtained by Parliament against the striking workers was extended until January 29 next year. NEWS24

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