Snubbed nurses threaten to strike, again

THE Zimbabwe Nurses’ Association (Zina) has threatened to down tools on Monday, after government snubbed their plea for better working conditions.

BY SINDISO DUBE

The association gave the Health and Child Care ministry a 14-day ultimatum which lapses tomorrow. Nurses feel hard done by the government, which resolved doctors’ issues after they downed tools on March 1, but is yet to fulfil the promises made to nurses.

Zina secretary-general, Enock Dongo told Southern Eye that they will go on a nationwide strike until their grievances are addressed by their parent ministry.

“Our salaries are not sufficient and we have been working without the required equipment. We need our working conditions improved. This can’t go on as it affects the patients and nation at large. We gave them (government) 14 days to solve our issues, but nothing has been done, on Monday there won’t be any member of Zina in hospitals, discharging duties till our matter is solved,” he said.

“Our issues are outstanding from 2010, we don’t get paid well, and we have no proper working materials. The government increased wages for doctors and general hand workers, but we were not catered for. Imagine a general hand worker earning more than nursing management.”

Zina wants their monthly salaries to be increased and also their night duty allowances to be increased from 0,76 cents per hour to $10.

Contacted for comment, Mpilo Central Hospital clinical director, Solwayo Ngwenya said they haven’t received any formal letter from the nurses and will wait to see how events will unfold on Monday.

“We just heard by rumour that they [nurses] are to stage another strike on Monday if they don’t get the ministry’s attention, but we are yet to receive any form of communication from them. So all I can say is we will wait for Monday and see how events will unfold,” he said.

Besides a salary and medical allowance hike, health workers are also demanding the adequate provision of drugs and other supplies to enable them to effectively discharge their duties.