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Public sector union gears up for Sassa strike

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Public sector union gears up for Sassa strike

14th September 2018

By: African News Agency

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Members of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) are preparing to down tools at the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) next month.

The Congress of South African Trade Union–affiliated (Cosatu-affiliated) union said it was allowing government time to consider tabled demands and added that workers had run out of patience.

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''Having served the notice to strike on the 16th August 2018, instead Sassa chose to file an application for a variation of the 2016 Essential Services committee that grant administration forms part of essential services designation, as an attempt to avert our strike. In this regard, we want to inform the public in particular the grant beneficiaries that our demands still remains,'' the union said in a statement on Friday.

Nehawu's demands include the suspension of the biometric enrollments of grant beneficiaries and that job evaluations be undertaken. 

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The envisaged strike comes hot on the heels of that of rival union, Public Service Association (PSA), at Sassa. The union then took the public service and administration ministry to court to force the minister to allow them to negotiate salaries and not only comply with agreements signed at the public servants' bargaining council. The strike hit the agency hard at the time it started switching grants disbursements from Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to the post office, banks and other cash merchants.

Nehawu said it would start mobilising members from September 24 across the country, with the strike set to start on October 10.

''Furthermore, the union will use the 13th Cosatu national congress [taking place from September 17) to share the plight our members with a view to secure a special resolution at this congress. We will also be convening a meeting with the leadership of the South African Communist Party (SACP) as a vanguard of our members with a view to support and join our strike.''

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