Health workers demand update on allowances

Health workers demand update on allowances

Healthcare workers are pushing government for an update on the payment of their adjusted allowances following an earlier plea for them to suspend their planned strike.

Initially, the workers planned to down their tools today following the expiry of the two weeks Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda promised to give feedback on the matter.

But by press time last night, details of Chiponda’s response were yet to be shared with The Nation.

Promised to give feedback on
the matter: Chiponda

Physician Assistants Union of Malawi (Paum) president Solomon Chomba said in an interview yesterday that they were still waiting for feedback from the minister.

He said they were due to meet National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives (Nonm) executive last night on the way forward during.

Said Chomba: “Our scheduled demos on May 2 2024 were postponed following the minister’s commitment to give a response in 14 days. Today marks the deadline. Our members from both Nonm and Paum are eagerly waiting for a positive response.

“Any negative response will force our health workers into the streets till the conciliation agreement has been responded to positively.”

Meanwhile, a divergent group calling itself concerned health workers in government and Christian Health Association of Malawi facilities also planned to go on strike today should government fail to honour the deal.

Through a letter dated May 10 2024 and addressed to hospital directors, directors of health and social services with government in copy, the group whose representatives opted for anonymity said healthcare workers were not expecting any delay on government’s impending position on the matter as the 14-day window expires.

It said if the response did not meet their expectations, they would go on strike effective May 15 2024 and would not entertain further meetings with officials from any ministry or any political grouping on the same.

During commemorations for this year’s International Day of Nurses on Sunday in Mzuzu, Chiponda said the ministry was still in discussions on increasing nurses’ allowances. She said government was committed to uplifting nurses’ welfare through promotion and good houses.

But from the talks held two weeks ago, Chiponda is said to have pleaded with the workers, saying the planned sit-in had the potential to paralyse service delivery.

Chomba also confirmed that the minister had assured them that she would provide concrete feedback within two weeks.

During the three-hour meeting on April 30 2024, Chiponda is said to have pledged to intervene to ensure that the workers’ demands are considered at the soonest possible time, according to Chomba.

Nonm and Paum have been at the forefront of the push and got the support of members of the Society of Medical Doctors, Anaesthesia Association of Malawi and Physiotherapy Association of Malawi in the protests.

Through Nonm and Paum, healthcare staff gave government an April 12 2024 deadline to implement the revised allowances, but government said it would provide a response by April 26 2024. However, the response did not come on the appointed day; hence, the decision to proceed with the protest.

The post Health workers demand update on allowances first appeared on Nation Online.

The post Health workers demand update on allowances appeared first on Nation Online.