Zim nurses to get welcome pay rise - report

Harare - Zimbabwe's nurses are the next to get a hefty pay rise, reports said on Friday.

Lovemore Mbengeranwa, the chairperson of the Health Services Board said the government recognised the "current economic hardships which are being faced by health workers," according to the state-owned Herald newspaper.

Exact details of the new pay packages were not immediately available but the Herald said they would be in line with wages announced earlier this week for teachers and members of the security services.

Teachers are to get a minimum monthly salary before tax of Z$33-million (about R2 000), while security forces are in line for a minimum wage of Z$27,2-million.

Zimbabwe's nurses, like most civil servants, have been struggling for months as the country's inflation rate climbs higher. It's now at 913,6 percent and predicted to cross the 1 000 percent mark this month.

Many health workers have left Zimbabwe to look for better paid jobs abroad, leading to a staffing crisis in some public health institutions.

Economists warn that though the improved wages for civil servants are good news, they will further push up inflation.

But trade unionists have welcomed the move.

"This is a good gesture by the government," Lovemore Matombo of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) told the Herald.

The ZCTU has been critical of the authorities in the past. - Sapa-dpa


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