The National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) plans to work with provincial health departments to minimise the effect of a strike by its workers should this materialise, acting CEO Shabir Madhi said on Tuesday. The NHLS is a public health laboratory service with laboratories in all nine provinces, employing approximately 7,000 people. Its activities include diagnostic laboratory services; research, teaching and training; and the production of serums for anti-snake venom. NHLS management and officials of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) were locked in talks over a wage dispute on Tuesday. NHLS has offered a 3% pay rise while Nehawu is demanding a 7.3% increase. The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has already issued Nehawu with a certificate to embark on a protected strike, although the NHLS has not yet been notified by the union of its intention to go on strike. Madhi said the NHLS was "fully aware of the possible negativ...

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