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Published On: Wed, Jan 7th, 2015

Health Fears As Nurses Threaten Strike Over Unpaid Bonuses

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TEACHERS started receiving their 13th cheque as promised amidst threats by by nurses to embark on industrial action next week if government does not pay their bonuses by this Friday.

Zimbabwe Nurses’ Association (ZINA) Harare provincial chairman Enock Dongo said government had no respect for nurses.

Dongo said their employer had sent a circular saying their bonus would be paid on January 2, but they had not received anything yet.

“Nurses worked during Christmas and New Year’s holidays saving life, but the government decided not to respect that by issuing a circular that bonus will be paid on the 2nd of January which they did not do and up to now no communication was done to that effect,” he said.

“Nurses have children who are supposed to go to school next week and they have already budgeted that bonus for paying school fees.

Therefore, we have decided as a province to give the government up to Friday January 9 to pay our bonus, failure to do so come Monday January 12 all our nurses at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Harare Hospital and Chitungwiza are going to withdraw their services.”

But, while nurses were up in arms with the government, a snap survey showed teachers in high spirits after receiving their bonuses.

Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu confirmed that their members – who constitute the bulk of the civil service – had started receiving their bonus.
“Although I haven’t talked to many of our members, I am reliably informed that some have already received their bonuses while some banks have confirmed the payments,” he said.

Ndlovu said engagement with government concerning the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) started when former Labour minister Nicholas Goche was still in office, but to date there has been no activity.

“There was activity which would have paved way for negotiations on the outstanding issues, but to date, nothing has happened,” he said.

Ndlovu added that the NJNC needed to appoint a chairperson and the government team leader was also yet to be appointed. This follows former team leader Maxwell Ranga’s move to another office and the resignation of former NJNC chairperson Nelson Sambureni. Ndlovu said they would also need to attend to the issue of collective bargaining which he said needed to be embedded in the labour law reforms.

 

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