Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union SANNAM ANNUAL NETWORK MEETING 02-04 DECEMBER 2010
Outline • Back ground • Mission • Health Sector reforms • Collective Bargaining • Bilateral Forum • Overtime collective agreement • Joint Negotiation Forum • Political environment • Lessons learnt
Background • The Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union is a professional organization and a trade union for nurses. • It was established in 1965 under the nurses and midwives act and registered in 1994 as a trade union for nurses . • Joined ICN in 1975. • Duly recognized in 1999 as collective bargaining vehicle for nurses.
Mission • We exists for the purpose of influencing social policy, improving socio-economic standards for nurses, promoting excellence in nursing practice,management,research and education, supporting and empowering the nursing council, networking with similar organizations locally and internationally.
HEALTH SECTOR REFORM • Development of Essential health care package. • Review of nursing scope of practice, education standards, nursing ethics, and career progression. • Successfully negotiated with MOH for absorption of staff, and addition of 2 nurses and 1 medical doctor in the Wellness Centre. • Leading task shifting agenda in Swaziland. • Successful lobbying for involvement of labour in CCM.
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING • Collective bargaining in the public sector is organized in twofold. • Bilateral : between the union and government/employer. • JNF: between all duly recognized public sector unions and government.
Bilateral forum. • On the 26th November 2010 we have signed a collective agreement with government on mode overtime allowance payment for nurses. • This has been despite the fact that country is facing an unprecedented economic challenges.
Bilateral • We believe that this agreement has solved the chronic problem of delayed or even non payment at times leading to industrial disharmony and patients suffering. • This agreement will also reduce the burden of paying legal costs for our members as result of a strike.
Bilateral • The resources that were used for legal costs will be redirected towards worker education and shop steward training, thus a more visible and strong organisation.
Collective agreement • It covers every nurse employed in the public sector. • Nursing assistant- 25% • General Nurse- 25% • Professional Nurse- 25% • Nurse in charge – 25% • Matron- 10% • Deputy Chief nursing Officer- 5% • Chief Nursing Officer- 5%
Collective agreement • This allowance will be enjoyed by every nurse whether she is exposed or not to overtime, annual leave, maternity leave and even study leave less than 12 months.
Joint Negotiation Forum • Once more we have been members and an active player in the Joint negotiation forum. • We have concluded negotiations on cost of living adjustment we settled for 4.5%. • We anticipate tough times ahead for all of us in the next 5 years due to the economic crisis that has hit the country because of the shrink in SACU revenues.
Joint Negotiation Forum • This was a period for salary reviews but the government came with a proposal that anything with financial implications on the agenda items of the JNF should be scrapped off. This we rejected as unions. • Why? The government effected salary reviews for politicians. • This under normal circumstances is carried out after salary reviews for the civil service.
Joint negotiation Forum • Lack of fiscal prudence in government expenditure characterized by among other things tarring of palace to palace roads with no economic benefit for the country. • Converging of departments to ministries. • This has exposed the country to Bretton Woods Institutions the IMF and the World bank.
Joint negotiations Forum • These institutions has imposed structural adjustment programs such as the Fiscal Adjustment road map. Of which the brunt shall be borne by workers. Among other things this document which was endorsed by cabinet contains; • Enhanced Voluntary Retirement Scheme • Right sizing • Outsourcing
Joint negotiations forum • We have adopted a joint program of action to galvanize workers against this. We believe that this is a situation where workers have no choice but to fight or lose. Its better to die with your gloves on than to surrender without entering into the ring.
Political Environment • As a country we have been engulfed by a state of emergency since 12 April 1973. • The advent of the so called new constitution has not helped but legitimized the status quo. • Furthermore there is no instrument nullifying the decree is correctly picked by the High level delegation from ILO.
Political Environment • Cdes will remember that on the 1st May 2010 in Swaziland may day celebrations were invaded by police. • They went to an extent of stripping your jacket to check if you are not wearing a T-Shirt belonging to PUDEMO or SWAYOCO. • The Suppression of terrorism act does not have those provisions, for a search without a warrant but it is only the 1973 decree that yields such powers.
Political Environment • This resulted in one worker Sipho Jele arrested and subsequently “killed” in police custody. For wearing a T Shirt. • Over the past few months we have seen an increased state repression paralleled by increased resistance from motive forces. • As we speak Swaziland has been placed in special paragraph of the ILO.
Political Environment • We are more than convinced that liberation of the Swazis must be conscious effort of the people of Swaziland, as dictated by the material/ concrete conditions from time to times. • As nurse we are professionals we have to wage a struggle on a daily basis of defending our profession. • We are also involved in the struggle against patriarchy in our society in general and work place in particular.
Political Environment • We are also involved in the struggle against repression by the Tinkhundla regime that is characterized by; • Semi Feudalism( forced labour, contribution and removals) • International Capital • Gender disparities • The unfortunate part is that the monarch is the face of the above atrocities.
Political Environment • We are convinced that we need to wage the struggle against patriarchy in a systematic way i.e. when delivering on the quantitative practical gender needs we need to focus on the strategic, qualitative gender needs. So that we don’t see women being co-opted into patriarchal structures but should seek to dismantle the entire system of oppression.
Political Environment • Therefore if our union is largely dominated by women, we are the first to feel the pinch of triple oppression. It is imperative that we engage in the struggle because we stand to benefit more as nurses. • All this has been necessitated by the fact that political parties are banned in Swaziland through the 1973 decree and the Suppression of Terrorism act.Trade Unions are the only organisations that can speak on issues of social policy and administration.
Political Environment • The Global day of action on Swaziland on the 5th September to 8th was characterized by high level of intimidation and arrests and assault of trade union leaders included COSATU and friends of workers from Africa contact from Denmark who were deported back to South Africa and Denmark respectively. • We have witnessed resilience from the workers of Swaziland and nurses as they participated in the action irrespective of the harassments and arrests.
Political Environment • We would like to implore you comrades, not to have a pity party on us, but for you to understand that a threat to democracy somewhere is a threat to democracy everywhere. • We need you to continue supporting the people of Swaziland in their quest for democracy.
Lessons learnt from SANNAM • Equipment of leadership to successfully engage in shaping and influencing policy at country level. • Importance of solidarity within the region and Africa as a whole, acknowledging the fact that we cant be strong in the region if one country is weak.(Twinning). • Self reliance and organizational autonomy.
OBRIGADO MERCI DANKIE SIYABONGA