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Doctors continue with strike

NURSES return to work today, but doctors are continuing with their strike saying their grievances have not been addressed.

In a statement yesterday, the Zimbabwe Nurses' Association accused the Government of not being sincere about addressing nurses working conditions, but urged its members across the country to return to work.

"Due to the fact that we have patients at heart and after consultation with provinces we have decided to call off the industrial action with the condition that night duty should be paid without the need of a claim form, while other grievances are being pursued viz medical/risk factor allowance, uniform maintenance, review of locum rates and availability of resources," said the nurses' association.

"We are kindly requesting our members to report for duty with effect from tomorrow 19th March 2018."

Meanwhile, the strike by doctors, which started at the beginning of the month, continues.

The doctors are protesting over locum payments, a motor vehicle scheme, unavailability of equipment and medicines at hospitals, staff establishment and a review of various other allowances.

In an interview yesterday, Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors' Association (ZHDA) spokesperson, Dr Mxolisi Ngwenya, said the statement issued yesterday by the Health Service Board (HSB) was misleading.

The HSB, in its statement said it had reached a collective bargaining agreement with health workers.

He said their meeting on Thursday was adjourned to the following day and a deadlock was reached.

"The press statement released by the Health Service Board today is a misrepresentation of what is happening on the ground.

"What l can tell you is that we met the Government negotiators on the 15th of March, they showed up three hours late, and in the meeting they misrepresented facts and calculated claiming they were giving us $5 per hour, which is not true.

"We gave them a circular that reflects how many hours we do and we calculated and it came out that we were doing $1.50 per hour," said Dr Ngwenya.

He said his association has written to the HSB saying it should stop misrepresenting facts because if it continues, the doctors' association would not go to the negotiating table. HSB chairman, Dr Lovemore Mbengeranwa's phone was not being answered last night.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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