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  • Strikes and Protests 2007/8 - Doctors and Nurses strikes

  • Striking doctors demand 800 percent salary hike
    Hendricks Chizhanje, ZimOnline
    September 29, 2007

    Visit the index of articles on the doctors' and nurses' strikes

    HARARE - Zimbabwe's striking junior doctors yesterday vowed to press ahead with a crippling industrial action until the government agrees to their demands for an 800 percent salary hike.

    Hospital Doctors Association president Amon Siveregi said although a tentative agreement had been reached between the doctors and the Health Services Board (HSB), the medical practitioners would only return to work after getting a written undertaking from the ministry of finance.

    The agreement with the HSB was that the doctors' salaries be hiked by 800 percent and vehicle loans be reviewed from the current $25 million to $1.5 billion in line with Zimbabwe's hyperinflationary environment.

    If government accedes to the demands, the junior doctors would now earn between $80 million and $90 million from about $7 million currently.

    Siveregi said the recommendations were on Wednesday submitted to Finance Minister Samuel Mumbengegwi where they now await his approval.

    "The results of the negotiations were sent to Treasury on Wednesday and we are now awaiting their approval by next Friday," Siveregi said.

    Siveregi said doctors would only resume work after getting a response from the government about their salary demands.

    Zimbabwe's out of control inflation currently topping over 6 000 percent has wiped out real wages at a time when the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe says an average family of five now needs about $16 million to survive.

    Strikes by doctors over pay and better working conditions are common in Zimbabwe where the health delivery system, once the envy of many in Africa, has virtually collapsed after years of under-funding and mismanagement.

    Meanwhile, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general Raymond Majongwe yesterday reported that some traditional chiefs and ruling ZANU PF youths had stepped up their intimidation against the striking teachers in the rural areas.

    Majongwe alleged that some youths had visited several schools in Gokwe and Mhondoro-Ngezi where they were harassing the striking teachers.

    "Some ZANU PF youths are harassing teachers and telling them to move out of the school residences," Majongwe said.

    The teachers have been on strike since Wednesday to demand higher pay and better working conditions. "In some areas chiefs are asking teachers to bring PTUZ T-shirts and alleging that they are Movement for Democratic Change T-shirts," said Majongwe.

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