Community Health Workers (CHWs) in the Western Cape Department of Health (WCDoH) are contracted through the local Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs). When the Public Health and Social Development Sectoral Bargaining Council (PHSDSBC) Resolution 1 of 2018 agreement between the Department of Health and the Labour Unions on the standardisation of the Community Health Worker Remuneration was communicated to all provinces, the WCDoH indicated that the agreement does not apply to them as their model of contracting CHWs is different from that of the National Department of Health. This matter was also discussed in the National Health Council (NHC) meeting of 28 February 2019 wherein the same argument was presented. The NHC decided that all provinces should pay CHWs through PERSAL except for the Western Cape.
This meant that the WCDoH could continue with their contractual arrangement that is, contracting CHWs through NPOs.
The WCDoH also defended their argument in the PHSDSBC in response to a dispute that was referred by a Labour Union, NUPSAW, on the interpretation of Resolution 1 wherein an award was made as follows:
- Resolution 1 of 2018 applies and binds the WCDoH;
- As a result of the WCDoH not having Health Care Workers in its employ, it has no obligation to implement Resolution 1 of 2018.
It is for the reasons stated above that the WCDoH is contracting CHWs through local NPOs.
With regards to the remuneration package, the WCDoH complies with Resolution 1 agreement. CHWs are remunerated at R3,500 per month.