Nurses and midwives have earned a graded salary increase that improved their take home pay by 21 per cent during the salary negotiations between Zambia Union of Nurses Organisation (ZUNO) and the government that ended on Tuesday April, 2 2013.
The salary increment will be based on the results of the Job Evaluation and Re-grading (JERG) exercise that government has embarked on and will be effective on 1st September, 2013.
The negotiations saw nurses and midwives being awarded a new exclusive duty facilitating allowance called Health Personnel Shift Differential, and an increase in the Commuted Night Duty allowance.
And speaking in a statement, ZUNO described the just ended negotiations for salaries and other conditions of service for nurses and midwives in the civil service as progressive.
ZUNO President Thom Yung'ana said that this year’s negotiations were meant to correct distortions that existed in the different medical salary scales and were a firm foundation for overhauling the pay system for the civil service.
Mr Yung'ana said that the civil servants’ pay structure was riddled with distortions among the salary scales that tended to favour certain sectors giving rise to the distortions.
“Currently, the pay structure is such that certain cadres were getting different salaries though doing the same job. And this structure does not recognise the qualifications of the incumbents nor the intensity of the jobs involved. And this year’s negotiations were meant to address such concerns,” he said.
He said that the union and the government were working together to bring about reforms in the way nurses and midwives were remunerated and that this process would take time to be fully implemented.
“This year we are implementing the JERG which will also involve the validation and re-evaluation of certain jobs in the medical scales. This will be done by the incumbents and this process shall go on up to August 2013,” Mr Yung'ana said.
During this period, the union and the government would also review and develop staff structures in the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health to accommodate health professionals who are degree holders in the clinical area in addition to administration and nursing education.
“Further, this period between March and August will also be used for other consultations and appeals from the job incumbents before the JERG results can be implemented on 1st September, 2013,” he said.
Mr Yung'ana called the nurses and midwives to continue being professional in all their conduct and assured them that the results of the 2013 would only be effective for four months before the union engages government for the 2014 improved salaries and other conditions of service.PYM