Zimbabwe’s health workers and teachers on Monday, June 20, 2022 went on strike over poor pay and working conditions as they rejected a 100 percent [see reasons below] salary increase offered by the government at the weekend.
Health workers such as nurses, junior doctors, and radiographers staged protests at the country’s biggest public hospital—Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in the capital Harare—as they began their indefinite strike. Unions representing health workers said the strike was a last resort after the government refused to negotiate with them since April last year.
“The Minister of Health and Child Care (Vice President Constantino Chiwenga) has never met any health employee and government continues to offer lies as opposed to what is prevailing on the ground,” Apex Health Council leader Tapiwanashe Kusotera told the protesting health workers on Monday.
“They have refused to listen to us and we refuse to work.”
On Tuesday, June 21, nurses also held demonstrations at major hospitals. The strike is the second walkout by health workers since the Covid-19 outbreak in Zimbabwe in 2020.In addition, Civil Servants have been pushing for a salary review citing high inflation, which rose to
131.7 percent in May. [according to Professor Steve Hanke, he calculates that inflation is at 365%] in addition the collapse of the currency [in which all Civil Servants are paid] relative to the US Dollar has fallen by over 96% since January 1st 2020!!
REMEMBER THAT THE ZIMBABWE DOLLAR WAS ISSUED IN A FANFARE OF LIES AT A CLAIMED RATE OF 1:1 to the US Dollar. Today its extimated at 700 ZimDollar to 1 USD!!
The government workers want their salaries to be pegged in the United States dollar as the Zimbabwe dollar has become very unstable- see above and the tables.
The effects of inflation and a useless Zimbabwe Dollar
Nurses in Zimbabwe earn an average of $79.37 a month compared to the $500 they were earning before the reintroduction of the local currency in 2019. Four major unions representing teachers also declared that their members would not report for work for five days from Monday to protest against the poor working conditions.
“It is clear from the outcome of the National Joint Negotiating Council held on June 17 that the government is not serious about the welfare of civil servants,” the unions said.
“We cannot continue to be an embarrassment in our community as a result of the poverty that the government believes should remain as part of our working lives.”
The unions said their members “will not report for work starting June 20 to June 24.” Prior to the weekend salary review, the government had last raised civil servants’ salaries in February this year.
The Zimbabwe dollar has lost 96% of its value against the US dollar and the surge in inflation has stoked fears of a return to the hyperinflation era of 2008 where the country was forced to abandon its currency.
Civil servants say they are unable to fend for their families or send their children to school in the face of the rapid increase in the prices of goods and services.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has blamed the latest economic crisis on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has seen a steep rise in prices of fuel, maize, and wheat. WHICH IS COMPLETELY UNRELATED TO HIS TOTAL MISMANAGEMENT OF THE ECONOMY