AfricaHealth & FitnessNigeria

Zimbabwe: Sisters-in-charge join nurses strike

By Almot Maqolo

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Sisters-in-charge at all major central hospitals in the country have downed tools with immediate effect citing incapacitation and lack of urgency by government to address issues raised by the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA).

This follows calls by ZINA that healthcare workers who have been going to work all along to stop derailing the efforts of many and to immediately withdraw labour in solidarity with the need to protect nurse’s interest. Nurses have been on strike for close to a month.

“We note with concern the lack of urgency by the employer in addressing issues raised by ZINA. The ongoing incapacitation has not been doing any good to the patient care in this period of Covid-19 pandemic period,” read the letter to hospitals chief executive officers by sisters-in-charge.

“We have noted that despite the sacrifices shown by nurses the employer has not been forthcoming. As part of ZINA membership, we share the same grievances and we have been holding forth at our respective wards despite being overwhelmed by the workload.”

Zimbabwe’s major hospitals include Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Sally Mugabe Central Hospital, Mpilo Central Hospital, United Bulawayo Hospital and Ingutsheni Central Hospital. “After consultations and deliberations, we hereby notify that we are withdrawing our services with immediate effect until the employer takes the nurses grievances seriously by way of fruitful negotiations,” reads part of the letter.

Healthcare workers rejected the Covid-19 allowances and demanded that their salaries revert back to the 1st of October 2018 digits that were quoted in US dollar which is a stable currency.

In 2019, the doctors went on strike for over four months over pay and poor working conditions. The strike only ended in January this year when accepted an offer by Econet founder and telecoms billionaire Strive Masiyiwa, who set up a $100 million Fund to pay up to 2 000 doctors a substantive allowance of US$300 a month at the time to cushion them with transport and living costs. The program was for six months.

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