BY VANESSA GONYE
NURSES working at Harare City Council-run clinics have embarked on a one-day working week starting yesterday, saying they could no longer afford to go to work every day due to the high cost of living and inaction by their employer.
The nurses also said they were yet to be paid their May and June salaries as well as the 2018 bonuses.
In a letter directed to the city health department, the workers expressed their willingness to offer uninterrupted service as long as they were able to provide for their families and their salaries reviewed.
“Since the beginning of this year, nurses have not been able to exercise their mandate of looking after their patients and that of being custodians for their families. Transport to workplace, school fees, rentals, prices of basic commodities have multiplied several times against a basic salary that has remained stagnant,” the letter reads.
“We, therefore, demand payment of our salaries and arrears immediately at the current interbank rate. Also note that on the July 1, 2019, we forwarded a letter of demand to your office, but you did not respond. While still considering our grievances, let it be known to you that we shall be able to report for duty only once per week from Monday July 29, 2019 (yesterday).”
In a letter dated June 24, the workers demanded that salary arrears be paid in hard currency or matched to the interbank rate.
“We, hereby, demand full payment of our salary owing in United States dollars or at an equivalent rate without further delay….we demand payment of our salary dues in US dollar or at an equivalent rate plus allocation of our residential stands without delay,” the letter further reads.
By end of day yesterday, they had not received feedback from their employer.
The nurses are currently earning salaries ranging between $900 and $1 200 per month.
The council-run clinics and hospitals have been a lifeline for Harare residents, owing to their affordability and quality service.