#Recognise EHP’s Grievance Movement March!
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ATTENTION: All Institutions, Municipalities, DOH, and Environmental Health Professionals
We are pleased to inform you that the Environmental Health Professionals and unemployed graduates are organising a movement under the theme #Recognise EHP’s Grievance. Kindly be informed that this letter serves as plead on behalf of all the Environmental Health professionals for your assistance, availability and involvement in the participation of the initiative called “The Environmental Health Movement”. The Environmental Health Movement group initiative aims to help bring together qualified professionals of Environmental Health , entry level (students) individuals, Department of Health and Municipalities under one mind, therefore opening a wide range circus to help tackle our biggest and escalating concerns that are being ignored by government and other bodies. The main purpose is to properly address all our grievances as a profession because we want to be heard and recognised.
On this movement we will be addressing the following issues we are faced with and concerns arising therefore:
• High unemployment rate
• Community service backlog
• Recognition as a profession
• Amendment of policy regarding HPCSA exorbitant annual fees by unemployed Environmental Health graduates
• HPCSA not recognising other employment sectors either than municipalities and DOH for community service programme in their policy wording
• Lack of resources and equipment for those working in Municipal level
These mentioned issues not only came as a stumbling rocks now, but has been and frequently addressed since 2011 but there’s been no progress and good outcomes. The past 9 years Environmental Health students have been battling to be allocated for community service and this has resulted in a huge backlog of students waiting for community service. Letters regarding unemployment, backlog, insufficient and inadequate resources, high unemployment rate /complaints have been sent to the National Department of Health (NDOH) and till today, there are still no changes in this matter instead it spreads while the number of students waiting for community service escalate each year.
Many more other actions have been taken to resolve these issues, but we are being ignored and beginning to get irritated and now we want to be heard, because we need a solid resolution to all our problems. We believe that all institutions and organisations are aware that Environmental Health is offered by 7 Universities in a country, with the first year intake around 40-80 per institution. This result into 70 students graduating every year per institution, therefore total of 480 students graduates per year. Less than 50% of them get community service as a result there is huge backlog of EHP’s and many other problems resulting from this backlog. Most of them have left the profession to be safety officers, meat inspectors at abattoirs, cashiers at retails and other career branches. Their skills are automatically destroyed and their dreams are put on hold, hence this is becoming a huge problem yet we are the most needed profession around the country.
In conclusion this plead is to bring to the attention of all Environmental Health Practitioners that are working for the public sector, institutions and unemployed graduates that Environmental Health movement group has decided to go on strike in May 2018 all the Environmental Health Practitioners and students are requested to refrain from going to office/classes on the day that will be set for May 2018 till the protest has ended. The situation of strike has arisen due to constant neglect of the demands of Environmental Health profession by the government.
Our demands that are listed above were not taken seriously by the senior authorities in the profession forcing to take the extreme step like strike. Creation of more jobs and placement of community service for Environmental Health graduates are due since long and it becomes the moral responsibility of government to look into the issues and address the grievances of the Environmental Health graduates and students. The authorities have failed in this matter of urgent importance.
You are all requested to be present in this meeting and give us moral support. Our unity has great strength and it’s time to show the authorities our strength.
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