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Striking S.African doctors agree to return to work

Disgruntled dis·grun·tle  
tr.v. dis·grun·tled, dis·grun·tling, dis·grun·tles
To make discontented.

[dis- + gruntle, to grumble (from Middle English gruntelen; see
 public service doctors have agreed to suspend illegal strikes, amid negotiations to resolve a wage dispute with government, a medical workers union said Friday.

"The agreement with government is that all doctors who are on strike should go to work. They seem to be committed to doing that. Those who were dismissed will be re-instated," said Norman Mabasa, spokesman for the South African Medical Association The South African Medical Association (SAMA) is a trade union in South Africa. It is affiliated with the Congress of South African Trade Unions. External links
  • SAMA at the COSATU.

"The process (of negotiating) is still going on, they have indicated they are not happy," he said of doctors who were demanding 50 percent pay increases to improve notoriously no·to·ri·ous  
Known widely and usually unfavorably; infamous: a notorious gangster; a district notorious for vice.
 low wages.

Between 2,000 and 3,000 doctors abandoned patients after losing patience with what they say are abysmal a·bys·mal  
1. Resembling an abyss in depth; unfathomable.

2. Very profound; limitless: abysmal misery.

3. Very bad: an abysmal performance.
 working conditions and being forced to work unreasonably long shifts as the country's over-burdened public health system suffers from a shortage of staff.

Weeks of lunchtime pickets and a smaller stayaway in April escalated into the two-week illegal strike, which heightened this week in several provinces in support of nearly 300 doctors in Kwa-Zulu Natal Natal, city, Brazil
Natal (nətäl`), city (1991 pop. 606,887), capital of Rio Grande do Norte state, NE Brazil, just above the mouth of the Potengi River.
 who were dismissed.

Late-night negotiations on Thursday saw the leader of the country's biggest labour body COSATU COSATU Congress of South African Trade Unions , the provincial leader and doctor's representatives negotiating for the doctors to be re-instated.

Government said Thursday it sympathised with the doctors, and had "bent over backwards" to improve their conditions as much as possible.

However an offer which would cost government some one billion rand (127 million dollars, 90 million euros) has been rejected as doctors claim their complex salary structures mean it amounts to increases of only between two and 13 percent.

"We don't think doctors are being greedy greed·y  
adj. greed·i·er, greed·i·est
1. Excessively desirous of acquiring or possessing, especially wishing to possess more than what one needs or deserves.

. Right from the beginning they have not been paid good salaries," government spokesman Themba Maseko told journalists on Thursday, urging doctors to resume their duties.
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Publication:AFP Global Edition
Date:Jul 3, 2009
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