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Health workers embark on nationwide strike

HARARE – Zimbabwe nurses have notified goverment that they will embark on a nationwide strike on Monday due to incapacitation.

Senior doctors, nurses and radiographers, represented by the Health worker Associations leaders, said they had made numerous attempts to engage the employer with no succes.

The decision to strike follows a meeting on the 17th of June 2022 at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, attended by the health worker association representatives.

“The decision to withdraw our service is not taken lightly, but the workers are without means to execute their mandate,” Health Worker Association representatives said in a letter to the minister of Health and Child Care.

Among health workers major grievances is what they termed closure of negotiation space.

“It is important that we remind you, that we
have not had a bipartite meeting since April 2021. This is despite our repeated efforts to engage the board. We have written to you more than 5 times to you requesting a meeting to no avail,” health workers said.

Health workers were also dejected over government’s failure o provide a meaningful
cost of living adjustment against rising inflation.

The runaway exchange rate continues to erode the buying power of civil servants salaries who are all paid in local Zimbabwean dollars.

“It is common knowledge that the economic conditions have deteriorated significantly
in the last six months.

“This is clearly indicated by the rapid and precipitous fall in the interbank rate and the steep increase in inflation, now well over
130%. The loss of value of the local currency is apparent and evidenced by the governments decision to pay farmers in USD. We therefore repeat our call for salaries USD.

Another grievance revolves around authorities’ failure to review of non claimable health sector specific allowance based on work done during odd hours “with little compensation being offered by the employer.”

The health workers are also aggrived by the failure of the board to regrade health workers as previously agreed. The last review of grades
was done in 2012.

“Donor funded nostro retention allowances. The boards failure to facilitate the timeous disbursement of the donor retention allowances.

“The board has previously communicated that this was at an advanced stage, however no meaningful progress has been made towards disbursement. The allowances ceased in 2020, health workers said.

Health professionals called on government to
review their Covid 19 risk allowances which were last reviewed in 2022, currently they are at ZWL3000, ZWL 4500 and ZWL7500.