HOSPERSA ASKS GOVERNMENT TO SPEEDILY COMPENSATE PATHOLOGY OFFICERS
9 June 2017
The Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) is concerned by reports stating that Forensic Pathology Officers (FPO’s) in Gauteng have gone on a go-slow. The services currently have been disrupted by a labour dispute. The Union is calling on government to fast-track its intervention by ensuring these officers receive the compensation they deserve.
According to reports, eleven mortuaries in Gauteng are on a go-slow over the reinstatement of a danger allowance for Forensic Pathology Officers (FPO’s). The danger allowance was subsequently stopped in 2006 when these officers were transferred from the South African Police Services to the Department of Health as part of a memorandum of agreement between the two state departments. The go-slow in Gauteng mortuaries has left bereaved families stranded when collecting their loved ones.
“It is devastating that bereaved families are made to endure even more suffering after the loss of a loved one,” said Hospersa Colllective Bargaining spokesperson Suzan Ntlatleng. “Trade Unions have tabled the issue of danger allowance at the Public Health and Social Development Sectoral Bargaining Council (PHSDSBC) and the government has requested more time to respond to the proposed agreement. We urge our members not to lose sight of the other issues that have also been tabled concerning their conditions of service ,” added Ntlatleng.
At the bargaining council, Hospersa demanded government to address the misappropriation of FPO’s regarding the additional duties they perform over and above their scope of work. The duties includes conducting certain post-mortem processes ranging from the dissecting of bodies, removal of organs, stitching of bodies and the preparations of organs for investigation by Pathologists. Hospersa stressed the fact that these processes should be done by trained Forensic Pathologists and that the FPO’s should be compensated and receive recognised training.
“The role that these officers play in society is very important and should be acknowledged,” argued Ntlatleng. “We have proposed to government that the officers should be granted Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL) and demanded a special danger allowance as well as back-pay. Government has also been amenable to our proposal and advised it will investigate both short-term and long-term solutions to the issues raised,” added Ntlatleng.
“We call on government to work speedily in coming up with proposals as the situation seems to be escalating with dire consequences for the public.” concluded Ntlatleng.
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