Health workers say they will remain on strike until their demand for salaries in US dollars is met after negotiations with the Health Service Board(HSB) yesterday ended in another stalemate.
In an interview earlier today, Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union President Robert Chiduku said nurses will not go back to their work stations until their grievances are met.
“Leaders have to heed the call and give health workers their demands. There are no tools of work, no paracetamol, and no wage and this has led to the massive brain drain because the government is failing to remunerate its workers,” he said.
Chiduku also said its negligence on the employer’s part to overlook its employees’ concerns and that has stalled negotiations.
“The government recently refused to pay its workers in USD but all transactions in the economy are now being done in USD. In fact the government is asking the public to pay for its services in USD. So it’s not that they do not have USD but we just have a negligent employer who doesn’t care.
“If it’s a policy that does not allow us to be paid in USD then we should challenge that policy. That policy is prohibiting us to build houses, purchase property or even put food on the table because all transactions are demanding USD,” he added.
Health workers vowed to continue their fight for better salaries and tools of the trade to make health services delivery smooth.
“We save lives. We serve humanity. All we want is for the government to respond to our demands immediately so we can go back to doing what we dedicated our lives for.
Chiduku also highlighted that giving health workers a better salary and equipping the health sector will also ease the brain drain.
” We have specialists in this country who can perform complicated surgeries but people are going to India for these because we don’t have the tools. We don’t have simple diagnostic machines in rural hospitals so how do we deliver,” said Chiduku.
Government on Friday offered a 100 percent wage increment to civil servants, which remains a far cry from around US$ 500 wage demand by its employees.