Zimbabwean nurses have hinted on a possible strike action by the health staff if government does not reverse its controversial decision to decree a three-month suspension without pay, on thousands of local teachers who have defiantly withdrawn their services citing financial incapacitation.
In a statement Friday, the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) said it was appalled by Primary and Secondary Education minister Evelyn Ndlovu’s move Thursday to impose the suspensions without engaging the affected teachers.
Teachers have vowed not to return to work if government does not act on their wage demands.
The country’s educators want their employer to restore their minimum US$540 wages that they used to receive prior to the introduction of RTGS based wages by the under-fire Zanu PF led government.
The cornered administration has resorted to threats in attempts to steady the ship amid growing despondency within its restive workforce.
ZINA on Friday stood with the teaching professionals adding that the abuses visited upon the profession were not different from those being faced by its members within the health sector.
“The plight of teachers is the plight of every member in the Civil Service,” ZINA said.
“It is no secret that the ordinary cost of living has gone up significantly and the costs are now pegged in United States Dollars. Accordingly, the attitude taken by Government in response to such genuine concerns is, in our view, representative of the attitude it views the plight of all public employees.
“To this end, we confirm that we stand in solidarity with the teaching profession and echo the grievances they have made to Government. Instead of using threatening tactics, the Government must engage in genuine dialogue and desist from making unilateral offers that do not address the grievances raised.
“We further implore Government to immediately revoke the unlawful suspensions issued out to teachers and invite not only the teaching profession, but the Civil Service at large, to the negotiating table to find a lasting solution.
“Should it become clear that the Government intends to proceed with its unlawful position, nurses in Zimbabwe will have to consider their position as we cannot watch our colleagues being punished for grievances that we all share.”