Occupation Specific Dispensation – a hapless tale

Chris Bateman


Public sector doctor relations with their employer, soured by clumsy, inconsistent provincial implementation of long-awaited occupation-specific dispensation (OSD) pay hikes and further delayed mid-level category doctors pay talks, are on a knife edge.
However, one assurance given to Izindaba by the national health department’s chief negotiator, James Cornwall, is that mid-level category doctor increases – when they finally come -- will be backdated to 1 April this year. This is when the State had agreed to reach settlement on the supplementary pay hikes but will now miss by more than a month, negotiations not having begun by mid-April.
Disillusioned State-employed doctors began an ongoing, legal ‘work to rule’ protest on 1 April, the action mushrooming across the country as word spread.
Cornwall, chief negotiator for the employer in the public health and social development sectoral bargaining council, was speaking as understaffed public hospitals began battling to cope without their usual doctor work-hour largesse.
The protest involves doctors actually taking lunch hours and tea breaks, knocking off at 16h30 and refusing to work overtime – a tactical shift from the illegal wildcat strikes of last year’s OSD protests, but still certain to put strain on State health care delivery.
In the interview with Cornwall it became clear that the supplementary talks would probably not begin before the end of April.

Author's affiliations

Chris Bateman, HMPG

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Occupational Specific Dispensation, doctors' salaries

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2010;100(5):268-272.

Article History

Date submitted: 2010-04-08
Date published: 2010-05-04

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