Doctors, government reach agreement to end strike

The government and striking public hospital doctors signed an agreement yesterday, which is expected to end a crippling 30-day job boycott over poor working conditions.

By Everson Mushava

Mxolisi Ngwenya, the spokesperson for the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA), said doctors would return to work following the agreement.

“The statement (about the agreement) is true and doctors are now going back to work,” Ngwenya said, but could not give more details saying he was getting into a meeting.
According to the agreement, the government agreed to increase rates for on-call allowances for junior doctors from $5 per hour to $7,50 on the basis of a maximum of 160 working hours per month.

“This will be paid on the rate of $1 200 per month for the junior doctors,” part of the agreement read.

“This offer reviews the on-call allowances sliding scale rate from the current level of $216 – US504 per month to $720-US1 680 per month, entailing mobilisation of additional resources of around $2,1 million per month.”

Night duty allowances were reviewed from $65 to US91 per set of seven days to an unclaimed sliding scale rate from $217 to $303 per month.

“The proposed review entails mobilisation of additional resources amounting to around $866 000 per month,” the agreement reads.

The standby allowances for nurses stationed in rural areas were also reviewed from the current claimable rate of $72 for a set of seven days to an unclaimable rate of U$240 per month with the maximum standby call-out being a maximum of 14 days per month.

“The proposed review entails mobilisation of additional resources amounting to around $500 000 per month.”

A basic allowance for nurses who acquire relevant qualifications was also reintroduced as well an allowance for nurse managers at a non-claimable rate of US$350 to US$450 per month.

Medical allowances were also reviewed to 20% of basic salary up from 15% while grading anomalies would also be rectified.  – The Standard