NURSES DESERT CHITOWN
Nurses are reportedly deserting Chitungwiza Municipality en masse to seek “greener pastures” at Government institutions after the recent salary review, a development likely to compromise service delivery at council clinics in the dormitory town, The Herald has learnt.
The nurses are said to be frustrated by non-payment of allowances and late salary dates.
Most council clinics are said to understaffed as nurses resign to join Government hospitals.
In an interview, Chitungwiza Municipality health director Dr Tonderai Kasu confirmed the exodus.
“Yes, a number of nurses have resigned in the last two months and have joined the main civil service that has been on a massive recruitment drive for nurses following the recent strike by nurses,” he said.
Dr Kasu attributed the resignations to failure by the municipality to pay salaries on time due to financial constraints.
“These resignations have been happening against a background whereby the local authority has been struggling to pay salaries on time because of historical legacy debts which the current management team inherited from previous administrations,” he said.
Nurses who spoke to The Herald said they were fed up with their employer. “We are tired of being used by our employer. For over three years we have been receiving peanuts. (We are getting) a flat salary of $260 just like any other council worker yet our contracts say something different,” said a nurse.
The nurses threatened strike action in March this year over poor salaries but deferred it after council promised to look into the matter.
They cited failure by council to pay the meagre salaries on time and absence of payslips. The nurses said an August 12, 2012 works council resolution reinstated their allowances. They also demanded payment of arrears but nothing had been done to date.
The nurses suspended the strike after council promised to address their grievances. Meanwhile, newly appointed clinical manager, Dr Tapiwa Nyamango, resigned barely a month fter taking up his job, citing violation of terms of employment.
His appointment came after the four clinics operated by council had gone for almost six months without a substantive doctor. They were manned by nurses.
The local authority is making frantic efforts to recruit qualified nurses. “Now there is a full council resolution for us to embark on a recruitment drive for nurses to fill all vacant posts for health professionals on council’s organogram for the health department,” said Dr Kasu.
“We are putting in place plans to engage locum nursing staff on short-term contract basis to cover the gap while we wait for authority to recruit large numbers of permanent nursing staff.”