Netcare has confirmed that the company has issued a Section
189 notice relating to the possible retrenchment of staff members and that it
will be embarking on a process of consultation on the proposed structural
review within its hospital division. The notice was issued to both
representative trade unions and employees in the hospital division who may be
affected.

Group employment relations manager at Netcare, Ramasela
Mokonyama says although 516 employees of the private hospital group have received
letters informing them of the company’s intention to review their conditions of
employment, the vast majority of them will be consulted regarding proposed
amendments to their current hours of work or current roles.

“It is not envisaged that the number of posts that are
potentially redundant will exceed 0.7% of the 20 000 people employed by Netcare
and we are hopeful of securing suitable alternatives for those affected given
that we experience monthly staff turnover which is significantly higher than
this figure,” she said.

The notice follows careful assessment by the company of the
external influences including current and expected market conditions, and the
hospital division’s current resourcing and business processes.

“The process of engagement has only started, and Netcare and
the representative trade unions have agreed to request CCMA facilitation of the
consultation process,” Mokonyama says.

She however denied that “hundred” of staff will lose their
jobs as claimed by nursing union, DENOSA. “The statement is somewhat misleading
and confusing given that no nurses who are engaged in the provision of patient
care are involved in the review, which is restricted to staff employed in other
categories,” Mokonyma explained.

Netcare and DENOSA also began annual salary negotiations
this week. DENOSA’s initial demands for increases range from 10% to 20%,
notwithstanding their reference to the inflation rate being 5.2%.”