High Court judge Justice Martin Mafusire on Friday ruled in favour of public sector nurses in their dispute with Vice President and Health and Child Care Minister Constantino Chiwenga over the termination of flexible working hours.
Chiwenga unilaterally cancelled flexitime, an agreement reached in January 2019 to allow nurses and doctors to report for duty two or three times per week.
Flexitime was introduced as a way of dealing with public healthcare workers’ incapacitation but Chiwenga, upon assuming the position of Health Minister, scrapped the arrangement, prompting the nurses to seek legal recourse.
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Last month, the nurses approached the High Court through the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) seeking an interdict against Chiwenga’s directive.
Justice Mafusire agreed that the nurses had raised valid concerns relating to incapacitation and lack of personal protective equipment for COVID-19.
He observed that Chiwenga had acted against the spirit of fair negotiation by unilaterally ordering an end to flexitime.
The judge also said the government had not made any significant improvements in the working conditions of nurses to warrant the removal of flexitime.
Justice Mafusire urged the disputants to solve their problems through dialogue.