Nurses employed in Zimbabwe’s public health system have rejected a government proposal to pay their salaries in the local currency.
On Monday this week, the acting Minister of Health and Child Care, Amon Murwira, his deputy, John Mangwiro, and the Health Services Board (HSB) held a meeting with Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) executive committee members.
During the meeting, ZINA officials were reportedly asked to quantify their salary demands in the local currency, a request which they spurned, reiterating their demand to be paid in foreign currency.
In a letter to Murwira, ZINA president Enock Dongo said their membership want their US-dollar 2018 salaries to be restored. Said Dongo:
Our members are now being charged in United States Dollars or the market or interbank equivalent and yet our salaries have not been pegged in that currency. Our salaries are less than US$70 and this is surely a low amount to pay an employee.
If we are to negotiate for a local currency amount our salaries will be pegged at $203 233 which by merely looking at it, it is unrealistic.
Furthermore, the advantage of paying in a stable currency is that we will be able to focus solely on our jobs and not worry about inflation eroding our earnings.