Striking nurses demand 75% salary increment.

Brighton University nurses to train Zambian colleagues

GOVERNMENT has called on nurses to resume work following a fruitful meeting with health sector unions to rectify salary anomalies.
But the nurses and midwives have vowed not to return for work until Government awards them 75 percent salary increment.
Permanent secretary for Public Service Management Division (PSMD) Velepi Mtonga has made the call in a statement issued yesterday, saying the protests relate to anomalies in the implementation of the revised salaries, especially salaries for those in grade F and G.
Dr Mtonga has assured the nurses and midwives that all genuine anomalies relating to the new salary grades will be rectified immediately and will be paid this month.
“I wish to inform the nation that Government is addressing all genuine anomalies and affected workers shall be paid correctly in the month of October, 2013 but effective September 1, 2013 as per 2013 collective agreements,” she said.
In March this year, Government and public service unions in the health sector signed a collective agreement for improved salaries and conditions of service.
It was also agreed that the lowest salary increase for employees in the health sector should be four percent.
Furthermore, Dr Mtonga said it was agreed that health personnel shift differential allowance be introduced and paid to all nurses, paramedics and midwives, who were formerly in medical scales, at the rate of 15 percent of the basic salary.
It was further agreed that commuted night duty allowance be paid to eligible health employees and increased from 5 to 7 percent of basic salary, all effective September 1, according to the collective agreements.
Meanwhile, an on-the-spot check by the Sunday Mail at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) found irate nurses gathered outside saying they would not resume work until their demands are met.
A group representative, who declined to give her name, said nurses are not striking because of anomalies on their payslips but the meagre four percent increment awarded to them.
“Four percent is a mockery. What we want is 75 percent or 50 percent for now,” she said.
The nurses have also demanded that their union explains to them why anomalies are reflecting only on their pay slips and not on other civil servants.
They have sworn not to go back for work even when those anomalies are corrected adding that their strike is not about disparities on their payslips but the increment of four percent which is reflecting there.
The nurses have also expressed disappointment with their union president Tom Yung’ana, who they said is not offering them solidarity.
They said their conditions of service should satisfy them.