Home South Africa News Eastern Cape Ambulance staff strike over overtime pay

Eastern Cape Ambulance staff strike over overtime pay

The strike has been declared illegal by officials, who have promised to take disciplinary action against striking employees.

Eastern Cape emergency medical services workers went on strike on Monday demanding outstanding overtime pay.

Some workers claim they have not been paid for overtime since 2003.

The strike has been declared illegal by officials, who have promised to take disciplinary action against striking employees.

ambulance staff

Eastern Cape Health MEC Helen Sauls-August said: “We are disappointed that the workers have embarked on an illegal strike knowing that they are employed as essential services and therefore are not allowed to be on strike. The department will undertake internal processes for on-duty employees involved in this illegal strike.”

Sauls-August said her department was busy processing overtime payments from 2015 to 2018.

An ambulance driver who has been employed for nearly 10 years said they were working under stressful conditions.

The driver, who did not want to be named, said employees were often met with a hostile reception where they were blamed for arriving late to help patients.

“This should be blamed on government that has very few ambulances and is understaffed. We are overwhelmed by calls and we end up working overtime,” he said.

He added that the department had promised to pay overtime “but nothing has materialised”.

Another employee who also requested anonymity said he was owed “a lot of money for the past two years and we expect to be paid what is due to us”.

The department said private ambulances would be used to respond to life-threatening cases during the strike.

Ambulances in parts of the Eastern Cape are notorious for the amount of time they take to arrive.

Source: News24

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