By Nqobani Ndlovu | NewsDay |
Disgruntled nurses working at public hospitals have joined hands with teachers to register their displeasure over poor working conditions in a campaign dubbed “Burn The Fraud”.
The virtual “Burn The Fraud” campaign was launched by the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) last week, where teachers burnt their payslips in protest over low salaries against a high cost of living.
The protest comes at a time when the poverty datum line has been pegged at $40 000, almost double what most civil servants, including teachers and nurses, are earning per month.
Zimbabwe Nurses Association president Enock Dongo yesterday told NewsDay that nurses had joined the protest.
“Nurses are not well remunerated. Salaries are far below our expectations. As we speak, we are in poverty, and struggling to report for work and make a good living as a working class. It is unfortunate that government has made its workers paupers,” he said.
“This has contributed to poor service delivery in our health delivery systems at our hospitals because when someone is demotivated, you don’t expect them to perform to their maximum expectations, and the people who will suffer are the patients.”
In 2020, nurses and senior doctors crippled public hospitals when they embarked on a nationwide strike demanding United States dollar-denominated salaries in the midst of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.
Artuz president Obert Masaraure added: “Nurses and other civil servants have expressed a keen interest to join the (Burn The Fraud) campaign. We are re-designing our organising strategy to accommodate all progressive civil servants to achieve more impact.”
He said teachers, who used to get between US$520 and US$550 in 2018 were now earning a measly equivalent of US$150 per month.
“The payslips, therefore, represent fraud.”
Last week, Public Service minister Paul Mavima ruled out the possibility of bringing back US dollar salaries.