By SARAH T MWANZA –
THE Ministry of Health has said the recently re-appointed nurses will retain all their entitlements and terminal benefits for the period they worked before they were fired in 2013.
Spokesperson Reuben Mbewe said all health workers who were dismissed in 2013 would be given all their entitlements.
Dr Mbewe said the re-appointment of the nurses, however, meant that they could be posted anywhere where there was a vacancy and not limited to the previous stations.
“Nurses dismissed for participating in the 2013 illegal strike have been re-appointed and not reinstated. This means that they can be posted wherever a vacancy is available, not limited to the previous stations,” Dr Mbewe said.
“There will be no loss of benefits, all the entitlements of a dismissed officer will be paid to them.”
Zambia Union of Nurses Organisation (ZUNO) was concerned that re-appointing of nurses meant that they had foregone the benefits they worked for before 2013.
Research and information officer Mabvuto Zulu has called on President Edgar Lungu to use his presidential powers to revoke the re-appointment of nurses and instead reinstate them.
Mr Zulu said it was unfair for the Government to re-appoint the nurses and send them to work wherever the Government pleased rather than where they were working at the time of their dismissal.
“We want the health workers who were fired by the Government in 2013 to be reinstated unconditionally and be given back their positions,” Mr Zulu said.
He said the union was not satisfied with the conditions given because employees never bargained for their members to start work afresh and be posted elsewhere.
“We want them to be given back their jobs, benefits and positions. For example, if one had worked for 20 years, they should start from where they left the time they were fired,” Mr Zulu said.
The Government dismissed 570 health workers who went on an illegal strike demanding a 21 per cent salary increment.
The nurses have, however, since been re-appointed but with conditions such as being posted wherever the Government sees vacancies.