BY BRENNA MATENDERE
MIDLANDS Provincial Hospital nurses, who last week resolved to work for two days a week, yesterday staged a sit-in at the institution demanding to be addressed by management over absence of duty rosters for those who had reported for work.
Robert Chiduku, the Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union president confirmed the development yesterday and described the situation at the hospital as dire.
“What I can say is that the nurses have resolved that they want to be addressed by the hospital’s management before they assume any duties. As we speak, there are no duty rosters in the wards and no communication has been made formally over that issue. So what I can say is there is confusion here,” he said.
“Since we resolved to work for only two days in a week, there is a lot that is being said in the informal circles purportedly coming from management. As a result, the nurses have said let the management come and address us and set the record straight.”
According to sources at the hospital, management intended to victimise all the nurses who were not reporting for work and also planned to purge those suspected of having organised the industrial action.
“The management is basically trying to cause anxiety among nurses so that it cows them down and target their leaders who called for two working days in a week. Some of them got wind of such actions being planned and so they want to take the bull by its horns, hence the sit-in,” a source said.
Other sources said management was not happy about the leakage of alleged corruption cases by the top brass onto social media platforms, which has prompted management to purge the nurses.
However, Chiduku refused to comment on the reports saying he wanted to first have a meeting with management.
“Our only issue is that of two working days in a week. Everything that is on social media has nothing to do with us. Social media remains social media,” he said.
The nurses cited incapacitation and demanded that their 2017 salaries be indexed to the interbank rate so that they retain the value of salaries they were earning during the era of the multi-currency system.
Hospital medical superintendent Fabian Mashingaidze said: “I have not been in office lately and I just came back today. I am not aware of the sit-in since I have been in meetings throughout the day. It could be something happening or something that the nurses are planning to do, but I would need to get a full report from the hospital matron first.”