The Zimbabwe Nurses Association (Zina) on Monday said its members were mooting strike action to press for better salaries.
This follows the rejection by Zina of a 22,5% salary hike offered by the government in their meeting held with the Health Services Board (HSB) last week.
The adjustment would have meant a $57 increment for the lowest paid health worker whose salary would come to about $310.
Zina dismissed the proposed increment as a mockery saying it fell far below the $538 poverty datum line demanded by other civil servants.
In an interview with NewsDay on Monday, Zina president Regina Smith said authorities must realise how grave the situation at hospitals would be if they downed tools.
“If nurses had to strike, hospitals will close. For those hospitals that will be open, it will mean that only a limited number of people will be treated by the few staff left,” she said.
She, however, urged nurses to be patient.
“When you go on strike you should go when you see that there is no light at the end of the tunnel and right now we are not certain about that light,” Smith said.
“Nurses should at the moment be patient and wait to receive these allowances offered to civil servants.”
Smith said Zina would continue negotiating with the HSB to seek a review of medical allowances.
“We will at first sit as the negotiating team representing nurses next week to map out our way forward and after that we will call the HSB to meet with them. We have already told the HSB that we want a review of medical allowances and we will see what offer they give us because the allowances that we were given by government are for all civil servants whilst certain medical allowances for nurses were not changed.”