Walter Nyamukondiwa Kariba Bureau
Health workers have been awarded 50 percent of their pensionable salaries as a cushioning allowance starting this month following the erosion of incomes by a wave of price increases.
The allowance will be paid across the board to every worker in the health sector and will be 50 percent of basic salary, transport and housing allowances among others.
Making the announcement during a tour of Nyamhunga Clinic here yesterday, Health Services Board acting chairperson Professor Auxillia Chideme-Munodawafa said representatives had agreed with Government on an allowance while negotiations continue.
“Through a meeting which started this (yesterday) morning, Government is going to pay health workers 50 percent of the pensionable amount by the end of July,” she said.
“I would say 50 percent of pensionable salary is a very reasonable gesture that has been offered.
“Whenever you negotiate, you expect the highest, but Government will always give you what they can afford.”
Prof Chideme-Munodawafa said economic challenges affecting the country required workers to be insulated through such interventions while long term solutions were being worked out.
“As the Health Services Board, our mandate is to address conditions of service for our healthcare workers and of late with challenges that have affected all sectors, we realised that our healthcare workers needed cushioning.
“The measures are aimed at addressing the challenges they are having after the erosion of their buying power and salaries,” said Prof Chideme-Munodawafa.
She said the Government was listening to concerns of the health sector and taking steps to address them.
Presenting challenges faced in Kariba District, health workers said they needed a heat allowance owing to the extremely high temperatures found in the Zambezi Valley.
“As nurses and staff here in Kariba, we request for heat allowance because temperatures can be so high that the body sometimes feels like it can no longer go on.
“The allowance will be an incentive for people working in the area,” said one nurse at Kariba District Hospital.
Temperatures in Kariba and the Zambezi Valley can go as high as 42 degrees Celsius leading to death of wildlife.
Prof Chideme-Munodawafa said the board had taken note of their plea and would take it up with the relevant authorities for consideration and solutions.
Members of the HSB also toured Kariba District Hospital.
The delegation is expected to visit Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital today.