Senior nurses join strike as labour unrest intensifies

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By Alois Vinga

SENIOR nurses have joined their colleagues in a crippling strike over poor wages and working conditions.

They announced the job action through a Friday letter by their representative Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA).

The correspondence was directed to all provincial medical officers in the country.

“We note with concern the lack of urgency by the employer in addressing issues raised by Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA),” said the sisters-in-charge.

“The ongoing incapacitation has not been doing any good to the patient care in this period of Covid-19 pandemic period.

“After consultations, and deliberations, we hereby notify that we are withdrawing our services with immediate effect until the employer takes the nurses grievances seriously by way of fruitful negotiations.”

The senior nurses said, despite the sacrifices they have continued to show in the current global menace, the employer has not been forthcoming.

The country’s health sector faces total collapse because nurses have been on industrial action for almost a month now.

The strike comes at a time their wages have been eroded by run-away inflation – at 786% – which has been pushing prices of basic commodities and services beyond the reach of many.

The International Monetary Fund has made its thoughts known to the Emmerson Mnangagwa led government economic reforms instituted by the under-fire administration since its inception were heading to no-man’s land.

The currency instability has further led to the indexing of prices against the US dollar resulting in reduced value of salaries which are still pegged in the local currency.

There are growing fears if government does not respond to the obtaining situation on time, things could degenerate into fully blown civil unrest.