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Strikes and Protests 2007/8 - Doctors and Nurses strikes
position on striking doctors
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)
January 10, 2007
The Zimbabwe Congress
of Trade Unions is disturbed by government's slow action in
addressing the concerns of doctors who are currently on strike.
The strike has paralyzed operations at state-run hospitals and it
is the ordinary people that are affected.
With the majority of
the Zimbabwean workers earning way below the Poverty Datum Line
that now stands at $ 351 000, it is difficult for them to access
health care at private institutions. The health delivery system
in the country has been in the "intensive care unit"
for a long time now and it is lack of political will that has been
the standards, especially at state-run hospitals, sinking lower
Zimbabweans have been
pelted left, right and center by shortages of drugs, inaccessible
hospitals especially in remote areas and by a general increase in
medical care expenses.
The strike action by doctors has worsened this situation.
We demand that government
should, as a matter of urgency, address the needs of striking doctors
in order to avoid loss of lives at hospitals. While labour does
not condone the actions of doctors, we believe that the salaries
they earn are inadequate and government should device an effective
system of retrieving health personnel and other civil servant's
salaries before strike action.
The government has been
giving these workers false promises that it will address their concerns
for the past few years. We find ourselves faced with the same problem
of doctors going on strike year after year, so we are saying to
government now is the time to fulfill all the promises.
We also believe that
as long as the issue of Poverty Datum Line wages is not addressed
at Tripartite Negotiating Forum level, such kind of strike action
will characterize most of the year. The workers of Zimbabwe, who
include those in the army and police, have been reduced to beggars
as they are earning slavery wages.
We urge government and
all other stakeholders to deal with issues of salaries and wages
as top priority now to avoid a volatile and potentially explosive
year as the workers of Zimbabwe cannot take any more of this suffering.
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