THE Zimbabwean government has started the process of transferring health workers from Chitungwiza and Harare Municipalities to government payroll as part of government’s efforts to centralize essential services.
By Michael Gwarisa
Briefing the media during a pots cabinet briefing, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Senator Monica Mutvsangwa confirmed the development.
Cabinet wishes to inform the public that its decision to transfer health workers from the Chitungwiza and Harare Municipalities’ payrolls to the Government payroll has started in earnest, with 60 out of the 65 nursing staff in Chitungwiza having been transferred.
“Measures are being put in place for the City of Harare to expedite the implementation of the Cabinet decision of transferring 368 health professionals. This is in line with the Government’s decision to centralise the payment of essential services in order to ensure timely payment,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
She added that to smoothen the implementation of the transfer of the health workers, Cabinet resolved that, going forward, “…the implementation of the Cabinet directive be made in a manner that allows the complete absorption of Health Professionals from all Urban Local Authorities starting with Chitungwiza followed by Harare and then moving on to the remaining Local Authorities;
“That the Committee be given a month to engage Municipalities in order to deal with legacy issues, such as outstanding salaries, provident funds, statutory obligations, and other conditions of service such as funeral assistance, medical insurance and accommodation; that, instead of transferring just nurses, Government will transfer all health workers in Urban Local Authorities to the Government payroll under the Ministry of Health and Child Care.”
She added that government is looking into sustainable ways of improving the conditions of service for nurses, doctors and other health professionals. This is in light of the huge workload the professionals are burdened with in this era of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, cabinet has considered and approved the Labour Amendment Bill which was presented by the Attorney-General on behalf of the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Legislation. The Bill aligns the Labour Amendment Act to Section 65 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act 2013, and to the ratified International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions. The Bill, also provides for the rights to fair and safe labour practices and standards.
“The amendments also makes provision for the promotion of the ease of doing business in the labour market through the streamlining of the labour dispute settlement and retrenchment processes. The Bill also takes care of emerging issues in the world of work such as labour broking, violence and harassment at the work place and emerging forms of employment relationships with a view to closing the lacuna in the existing legislation thus entrenching fair labour standards contemplated in section 65 of the Constitution. Provisions are also made to deal with “gender-based violence” and other cases of violence and harassment at the work place.”