By Nason Msoni
Nurse strike action is directly proportional to the behavior exhibited by President Sata and his cabinet for irresponsibly awarding themselves with hefty perks at the expense of public workers without realising that they were inducing inflationary trends in the economy with their outlandish pay checks.
We implore the government to quickly rectify the noted anomalies and distortions that are at the Centre of this disruption. The glaring discrepancies noted between the daily classified employees (support staff) and the nursing staff at the institution has brought friction and bitterness among the two different categories of workers which if not quickly resolved could make work suffer as the two groups need each other and complement each other’s work.
In the circumstances threats being issued by the Minister of Health are misplaced and not helpful as you don’t fight fire with fire. Clearly this is far less satisfactory a method of handling industrial action. We still think government is to blame for awarding themselves hefty salaries first ahead of a wage freeze to cushion themselves at the expense of everybody.
Nurses are justified to demand for more money as the current remuneration does not reflect a true value worth of their services they’re rendering to the Zambian public compared to the do-nothing PF political functionaries earning colossal sums of money with little education and in some circumstances with nil or zero rated academic qualification.
What government ought to recognize is that we all buy from the same shops that don’t consider our different earning capacities and yet we have to pay on-a-no-choice basis from the little pittancethat is paid-out in the form of a salary under protest of-course.
The unfolding crisis at the country’s highest referral and teaching hospital is symptomatic of a broken down industrial relationship that points to poor management styles manifesting in the form of a “wild cat” strike action.
It is obviously bad management style of managing industrial relationship and practices by making mountains of promises which cannot be reasonably be fulfilled within the stipulated time frame.
We therefore urge government to expedite the resolution of the strike action with tangible and acceptable results to the striking nurses at the earliest opportunity as the crisis is quickly spinning out of control and could have a spill-over effect on all the entire medical employees’ and other civil servants country wide.