Nurses Cry Foul Over Flexi-hours Ban

The Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) has objected to the unilateral decision by the Ministry of Health and Childcare to scrap the flexible working hours system.

In a letter to Health secretary Jasper Chimedza dated October 21, ZINA president Enock Dongo accused Chimedza of acting bad good faith. He wrote:

The decision to implement the flexible working hour system is a product of agreement within the HSBNP [Health Service Bipartite Negotiating Panel]. It was not given unilaterally by the government nor did the employees adopt it on their own accord.

With this in mind, your decision to unilaterally remove a system which you found in place and, in any event, was reached by agreement, is irregular and certainly not in good faith.

Dongo added that on May 11, 2020, the Ministry had made it clear that the flexible hour system would remain in place because it reduced exposure to coronavirus. Said Dongo:

Tied to the above, the flexi-hour system did not only address issues to do with PPE but also addressed issues of incapacity.

When you go to the origins of adopting this system, the reason was that regular working hours were becoming expensive to maintain on the salaries nurses were getting.

Chimedza on October 19 directed provincial medical directors to resume normal working hours for all nurses, saying the flexi working hours were creating artificial nurse shortages.

More: NewsDay

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