via Govt docks doctors’ salaries – DailyNews Live 12 DECEMBER 2014 by WENDY MUPERI
HARARE – Government is docking $100 off doctors’ salaries for taking part in an “illegal” industrial action which paralysed the health sector for two weeks.
Paul Chimedza, deputy minister of Health and Child Care, claimed yesterday the slash was justifiable under public service laws.
“As government, we pay for services rendered but if you spend the day drinking and smoking, why should you be paid unless you are on leave,” Chimedza told the Daily News.
“The next thing would be people withdrawing their service for six months, work somewhere else and come back.
“If anyone pays them, they can be sued and even the public will be after us. Even the auditor-general knew about it.”
At least 300 of the 400 members of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) took part in the job action demanding a salary review and improved conditions of service.
ZHDA said in a statement yesterday they were “deeply concerned, disturbed and worried by reports that the government intends to cut salaries for December 2014 to all doctors who participated in the legal industrial action which took place in the period October 27, 2014 to November 13, 2014.
“At Harare Central Hospital specifically, one errant and ill-advised CEO has already been reportedly issuing out statements and notices to doctors that their salaries for December 2014 will be reviewed downwards from the meagre basic salary of $283 by at least $100.”
Peggy Zvavamwe, Harare Central Hospital chief executive officer, was not taking calls from the Daily News.
ZHDA said its members countrywide are constantly summoned, threatened and harassed by station supervisors over their participation in the industrial action.
Itai Rusike, the Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) executive director, said, “It is illegal and demoralising to cut the doctor’s salaries as they are already underpaid.”