GOVERNMENT this morning deposited amounts ranging from $2000 up to $7000 in various nurses accounts as backdated payments to the $5 million owed to nurses in unpaid salaries and allowances.
The payments were distributed according to category and in accordance with the time one has served and is owed by government.
Nurses who spoke to HealthTimes confirmed the development but however lamented the unfair distribution of the monies between experienced and Primary Care Nurses (PCNs) whom they believe should have gotten less in the windfall.
“It is true, we got the money, these were backdated PCNs payemnts. However, registered general nurses got little compared to PCN. We got $2000 while some got $1000 each. PCNs got %$5000 and above and this is worrysome.
“These were backdated 2005. We are being underpaid and it pains us a lot, it is unfortunate that rumor is now saying nurses have made a killing yet it is actually nothing compared to what we are owed. PCNs got $5000 for one month,” said the nurse who requested anonymity.
In an interview with healthtimes, Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) president Simangaliso Mafa however said he was yet to ascertain how much each category got from the windfall though he added he could neither confirm nor deny the reports.
“Hello, Cant confirm nor deny because i am away attending a meeting and i am yet to find out what each category got,” said Mafa.
Early this year, the ministry of health and child care Permanent secretary, Major General, Gerald Gwinji said government wanted to regrade the affected nurses so that Government doesn’t accumulate the debt. He said if one was to calculate the grading anomaly per month, it comes to just US$52 362, which is not a lot of money.
The experienced nurses graded in D1 earn US$419, which is less than some junior nurses who earn around US$600 monthly. In a letter dated January 18, 2018 to the Health and Child Care Ministry, nurses demanded that Government dissolve the Health Services Board, failing which they would down tools which they did last month.