The Health Services Board (HSB) has removed 1 032 nurses from the payroll after they refused to resume normal working hours and insisted on the continuation of the flexi-working arrangement.
The development was confirmed by HSB chairman Paulinus Sikosana on Tuesday night.
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He said the nurses who are not working the normal hours will not be paid and the board has instituted disciplinary action against them. Said Sikosana:
We have removed 1 032 nurses from the paysheet. They defied a Government directive and we were left with no option.
The affected nurses, most of who were on the staff of central hospitals, face a variety of penalties depending on charges and circumstances.
These include dismissal or being placed on fixed-term contracts if they return as part of a proposed restructuring of the public health sector.
The HSB employees between 16 000 and 18 000 nurses and this imply that less than 8 per cent of the nursing staff will be affected by the twin developments.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told a post-cabinet media briefing on Tuesday that the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) has defied Government’s directive to terminate the flexi hours arrangement which has left authorities with no option.