Striking Doctors Snub Govt Talks As Govt Makes A 100% Reviewed Offer
19 October 2019
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State Media|Government has reviewed health sector-specific allowances by a further 40 percent with effect from October 1, 2019, which will see junior doctors pocketing $2 400 for on-call allowances, up from $1 200 initially offered.

Nurses will get $720 for either night duty, standby or call allowances, up from the previous $360 while nurse managers will get $1 000, up from $500.

Further, the Government has resolved to pay civil servants full bonuses for 2019, pegged on gross income, a departure from last year when the 13th cheque was based on pensionable salaries only.

The development will increase civil servants’ disposable incomes ahead of the festive season.

The allowances offered to health workers by Government are in addition to other health sector-specific allowances that include locum rates, initial uniform grant, initial uniform allowance, out-of-residence allowance and psychiatric allowances, which were reviewed last Friday by at least 100 percenteach.

Health Services Board (HSB) chairperson Dr Paulinus Sikosana yesterday said the latest review brings adjustments on health-specific allowances to 100 percent.

“Parties to the Health Services Bipartite Negotiating Panel (HSBNP) met on 18 October 2019 to continue the unfinished negotiations on the review of the Health Sector Specific Allowances following the signing of collective bargaining agreement (CBA) Number 3 of 2019 on 4 October 2019.

“CBA 3 of 2019, provided for a 60 percent adjustment on the HSCA with effect from 01 October 2019. On 18 October 2019, parties to the HSBNP agreed that the said CBA 3 of 2019 be amended to provide for a review of the health sector specific allowances by a further 40 percent from 60 percent.

“This review is with effect from 1 October 2019,” said Dr Sikosana.

However, defiant striking junior doctors snubbed the negotiating table, arguing they were no longer part of the Health Apex Council.

In an interview following the announcement of the latest agreement, acting Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association leader Dr Tawanda Zvakada said; “We did not participate in the negotiations and we still hope the employer will find ways of engaging us meaningfully with a credible inter-mediator since we are still open for dialogue.

“However, not through the Health Apex Council.”

Dr Zvakada said doctors will continue withdrawing their labour until their grievances are addressed.

Last month, the Government awarded civil servants including health workers, a cost of living adjustment of between 55 percent and 76 percent, which was awarded on a sliding scale.