Zimbabwe’s nurses working in the public health sector have shelved a planned strike after the government gave in to most of their demands.
Health Apex Council team leader Enock Dongo, who is also the Zimbabwe Nurses Association president, on Wednesday said nurses have temporarily suspended plans to go on strike after the government restored Flexi hours. Said Dongo:
We have for now shelved the strike because nurses will get off-days of two weeks continuously after working for five days.
That almost translates to our formula of two days a week. So, we have shelved the strike because fewer nurses will attend work at a time and avoid crowding. This also means they will use the few personal protective equipment (PPEs) available.
To us, the government has bowed down to their earlier directive to cancel Flexi hours. We have understood that because we are in a crisis, we had to reciprocate as well.
Nurses had notified the government on their decision to strike in a letter to the then permanent secretary in the Health ministry Agnes Mahomva dated May 11 over the issue of Flexi hours and PPE to use in COVID-19 hospitals.
However, Dongo said the government should not think that the issue of salaries is over as nurses still want to be paid the equivalent to US$1 000 per month.