Nurses strike over unpaid allowances

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OVER 600 nurses at Chitungwiza Central Hospital (CCH) Monday downed tools in protest over government’s failure to pay night duty allowances as promised.

CEO, Obadiah Moyo, confirmed the incident and called for the government to solve the problem as soon as possible as the situation was very bad.

“I can only confirm that they need night duty allowances so they will not be working during the night.

If that’s the case it means we are in a dire situation which requires swift response. I refer the rest of the questions to the government,” he said.

Efforts to get a comment from the Health and Child Care minister, David Parirenyatwa were however not fruitful as his minister’s mobile was unreachable.

Zimbabwe Nurses Association organising secretary Mugove Chipfurutse, accused Health Service Board of incompetence saying it did not care about the welfare of its employees.

“The government has taken too long to respond to the calls of its employees. Considering CCH catchment area, the strike is very dangerous. The nurses grading system has not been standardised since 2010 while on-call and night-duty allowances have not been paid since January,” he said.

Recently, nurses working for the entire public sector threatened to down tools after the government failed to pay their bonus. Since then, the health sector has been on the ropes, facing unending threats from its employees.

The doctors also threatened to join the nurses after their salaries were slashed following their three-long job action of early November last year.

Doctors had earlier on also embarked on a crippling three week-long strike which reportedly led to deaths of many patients.

The government had to engage the uniformed forces doctors to assist but they were too few to suffice the workload.

CCH is one of the most preferred central hospitals whose catchment area extends to the rest of Mashonaland East as well as Harare because of its competent services.