Thursday, August 11, 2022
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Zimbabwe doctors, nurses endorse strike

SALARY talks between government and its restive workers ended in a deadlock yesterday ahead of a full-blown strike action by health professionals and teachers beginning Monday. It has emerged that civil servants rejected a 100% salary increase offered by government, which would have seen the lowest paid State employee earning $36 000, up from around $18 000.

A salary offer of $36 000 is equivalent to about US$60 using the parallel rate of US$1:$600.

Public Service Commission secretary Jonathan Wutawunashe confirmed the deadlock.

“The meeting adjourned without any consensus and the parties will reconvene next week for further discussions. The situation is, however, not dire,” Wutawunashe told NewsDay Weekender.

In a statement, the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions said: “The employer requested time to consult their principals on the workers’ proposals and to properly interrogate the altered position brought about by the workers.”

The development means the country faces a crippling civil service strike action from Monday after teachers and health workers gave notice that they would not be able to report for duty citing incapacitation.

Teachers have announced a one-week job boycott starting Monday running until Friday to press their employer for United States dollar wages.

Yesterday, 23 health worker representatives that included senior and junior doctors, nurses, pharmacists, radiographers and nurse aides met at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and resolved to withdraw their labour.

On Thursday, nurses issued a notice to immediately down their tools.

In a letter dated June 17, 2022, directed to Health Service Board (HSB) chairperson Paulinus Sikhosana, the health workers said the employer had closed room for negotiations since 2021.

“Following our meeting on June 17, 2022 at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, attended by the health worker association representatives, it was unanimously agreed that as the government health workers, represented by the health workers associations leaders, here undersigned, after having made numerous attempts to engage the employer with no success, do hereby notify your office of our state of incapacitation and the subsequent withdrawal of service the government health workers effective Monday June 20, 2022,” a letter by the Zimbabwe Health Apex Council read.

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