South African Parastatal and Tertiary Institutions Union

NHLS

NISA
Newsletter of the Internal Staff Association (ISA)
Branch of SAPTU

December 2014

Dear ISA Members

Wage negotiations
The 2015 wage negotiations are due to commence at the end of January when Labour will submit their demands to management.

ISA would like to know from you what your expectations are. What do you believe a good increase will be? Please respond by return email (lblake2@telkomsa.net) by 16 January 2015.

Bargaining and Labour Relations Forum report back
At the December BLRF meeting the following issues were discussed:

Financial overview
The HR Executive Manager, Nimee Dhuloo, said Joyce Mogale, the interim CEO (a former Executive Manager of the NHLS Northern Region) has set her main priorities as solving the billing and financial crisis. Two people have been deployed from CHAI (Clinton Health Access Initiative) to assist and strengthen the management committee in their quest to establish a financially stable organisation. A CHAI representative gave a brief financial overview as follows:

  • From April to November this year, the provinces were billed R3,6 billion. They paid 2,6 billion, leaving an outstanding amount of R1,7 billion. The provinces are, however, using this year’s budget to pay the previous year’s debt. This situation has placed the NHLS in a compromising position.
  • As at end October this year, the NHLS owed their creditors R750 million. The infrastructure and maintenance backlog amounted to R600 million.
  • Salaries are the main priority and are the first items to be paid when money comes in.
  • The Minister of Health has instructed Gauteng to pay their bills and they are now doing so; he has also instructed KZN to make payments, but they are still disputing the bills.
  • The root cause of the crisis is the manner in which the reconciliation of costs and tests is done. A new test request form is being developed and new elements to gate keeping will be introduced. Finance teams will be despatched to the provinces every month to assist with reconciliations.
  • The aim is to have all debt settled by 1 April 2015.
  • It is believed that global budgeting will be implemented on 1 April 2015.

Ms Dhuloo said there are currently 1,300 vacancies. These are vacancies in all categories but include a large portion of core staff, including 30 pathologists and 200+ technologists. Exco has also instructed her not to fill these vacancies as there is no money; all projects have also been placed on hold. However, the Reward and Remuneration project will continue “until resources run out”.

Policy matters in dispute
Maternity leave: Staff members who were prejudiced by the new policy which excludes staff who go on maternity leave during their first 12 months of employment from claiming the financial benefit, will be compensated, i.e. the difference between the UIF claimed and their salary will be paid to these employees.

Several recent policy changes, approved by the Board, were disputed by Labour as these were prejudicial to staff or not complying with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. Management will respond to Labour’s disputes by end January 2015.

Reward and Remuneration project – volunteers
We require members to represent ISA on the various streams of the Reward and Remuneration project. This means attending meetings and giving feedback. The various “streams” of the project are:

  • Profiling
  • Employee Value Proposition
  • Cost to Company conversion
  • Proficiency Levels
  • Reward Governance
  • Change Management and Communication

If you are prepared to assist, please respond via return email (lblake2@telkomsa.net).

Festive greetings
ISA wishes all its members and their loved ones a safe and happy festive season, and blessings and rewards for 2015.

ISA

The Internal Staff Association (ISA) of the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS)

 

President:
Louise Blake
Tel: (010) 210-7381
Cell: 082 472 2840
E-mail: lblake2@telkomsa.net