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Doctors and nurses to strike on February 29 over poor pay, union says

Government given until Wednesday to table improved salaries to avert strike

HARARE – Nurses and doctors, through their Health Apex Council, on Tuesday said they will embark on a strike from February 29 to March 2 if the Health Service Commission continues ignoring their grievances over low salaries.

In a letter to the commission, the council said “health workers as an essential service are incapacitated by the volatile economic environment” yet the employer has continued to ignore them.

The pressure on standards of living is characterised by loss of value of the Zimbabwe dollar, price disparities and distortions, and hyperinflation, the health workers said.

“The health apex panel has on numerous occasions written to the employer highlighting the plight of health workers. Sadly, to this day nothing has materialised. Health workers are severely affected,” it said.

The council accused their employer of not engaging them on remuneration and conditions of service and exclusion of health workers on last year’s cost of living adjustment.

They also say there has been no review of health sector specific allowances while their basic salaries are too low as they now earn US$10 at the prevailing official exchange rate. They also get a Covid-19 allowance and a “cushioning allowance” amounting to about US$250.

The health workers union said if their grievances are not immediately addressed, a strike was imminent.

“The health workers are formally giving a 48-hour written notice (from Monday February 26, 2024, to the Wednesday, February 28, 2024) for a collective job action in terms of section 16 (2) (b) and (c) of the Health Services Act. The collective job action will commence on Thursday, February 29, 2024, and end on Saturday, March 2, 2024, if the grievances have not been addressed,” said the union.



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