Nurses divided over negotiations

Nurses divided over negotiations
Published: 25 June 2019
SHARP divisions have rocked nurses' unions after the Zimbabwe Nurses' Association (Zina) held negotiations to review salaries with President Emmerson Mnangagwa without alerting the Health Apex Council.

This comes as nurses had resorted to reporting for duty twice a week citing incapacitation.

During the negotiations Zina resolved to abandon the nurses' full blown strike that was supposed to start on June 24 after Mnangagwa promised to review salaries by July next month.

However, other nurses' associations were angered by this development saying Zina went to the meeting without consulting the Health Apex Council.

Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union (ZPNU) secretary general Douglas Chikobvu told the Daily News that they feel betrayed as Zina's move further causes a rift in moving as a collective Health Apex.

"Although unions have the freedom to engage as they wish, we feel the time for such an engagement was supposed to be handled by Health Apex since Zina, among other associations that had written a position paper to government…even solidarity messages under the Health Apex.

"We only realised they had a meeting with the presidium without even informing the Health Apex, team leaders or other collective unions to this regard," he said.

Chikobvu added that the outcome of this meeting not only further compromises the position of nurses alone but of overall health workers as well.

He said the meeting did not address or clearly bring about how the salaries would be addressed in order for them to execute their duties without stress, "therefore nurses will continue going to work twice a week."

According to a recent press statement, Mnangagwa only promised to review the salaries but did not state by what percentage.

Zina secretary-general Enock Dongo has justified his association's action, advising all nurses to respect the Mnangagwa's promise.

He said Zina had every right to engage with the president without consulting anyone.

"We have cleared that with the Health Apex and they understand that we were not supposed to ask anyone for permission to meet up with the president.

" It was our right as a union because we had requested for the meeting in May to discuss a number of issues," Dongo said.

Despite the decision to abandon the strike, nurses at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals yesterday went ahead with the industrial action as they were not working all morning.

Dongo, however, said Zina went around hospitals giving nurses the feedback on what was discussed with government and they understood.

"We understand that things are hard but we also need to give the president a chance," he said.
- dailynews
Tags: Nurses,


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