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Govt scraps 'flexi hours' for health workers

07 May 2020 at 11:17hrs | Views
All health workers are now required to report for work everyday instead of selected days per week which came after an arrangement dubbed "flexible working hours".

The arrangement was introduced through a collective bargaining agreement to cushion health workers, particularly nurses, who had gone on an indefinite strike citing erosion of their salaries by inflation.

Government agreed with the employees that they would report for work on less days a week, but working more hours than their usual shifts. Most nurses were now working two days a week for 12 hours a day. Cabinet this week resolved that all health workers should now revert to normal working hours.

Government will now compensate for the "flexi-hours" with a tax waiver on all health workers and a risk allowance. Making the announcement following a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the latest development was meant to ensure availability of staff.

"In order to ensure availability of staff at all health institutions, Government suspends the collective bargaining agreement on flexi-hours for the health sector given that the State, in the stimulus package, offered to waive taxation for all health workers for the next six months," said Minister Mutsvangwa.

The Health Apex Council yesterday said the implementation of that decision was likely to face resistance by health workers who felt both the tax waiver and the risk allowance were inadequate.

The Apex Council team leader Mr Enock Dongo, who is also president of the Nurses Association of Zimbabwe, said although they were still consulting, nurses had already indicated their position regarding the reversal of the arrangement.

"Consultations are still ongoing, but nurses have already indicated their unwillingness to revert to the normal working shifts because what has been offered is not enough to meet our demands," said Mr Dongo.

Source - the herald
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