The Zambia Union of Nurses Organisation (ZUNO) and the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) have signed the 2016 collective agreement for improved salaries and conditions of service for Nurses and Midwives in the public service ranging from 10.4% to 28.5%.
This draws from the general increment awarded to all the public service workers in the health sector that ranges from 9% to 28.5%.
Speaking during the signing ceremony in Lusaka today, ZUNO President Thom Yung’ana, who also represented the other health sector unions, noted that the salary increments have been set using the principle of graded salary increment as opposed to the across the board salary increment, in accordance with the guiding principles agreed upon to be implemented over the ten year period (2012 to 2021).
Mr Yung’ana said the increment has positive effect on allowances in the health sector as every percentage that has been gained on the basic pay is reflected in allowances such as Housing, Transport, Health Personnel Shift differential, Commuted Night Duty and, Rural and Remote hardship Allowances.
He said the introduction of the Compulsory Group Funeral Insurance Scheme aimed at improving employees’ welfare. The scheme is 1% of the monthly basic salary to be shared between the Government and the employee at the rate of 0.60 % and 0.40% respectively.
Mr Yung’ana further noted that the negotiations were undertaken with the perception that the country currently has a limited finances and has therefore employed government to be prudent in the manner resources are utilised.
Other matters that ZUNO managed to resolve during negotiations includes the engagement for restoration of packages for former dismissed Nurses and Midwives, andthe reinstatement of the health personnel shift differential allowance for the thirty six (36) affected members.
And leader of the government negotiating team, and Public Service Management Division Permanent Secretary Dr Velepi Mtonga, stated that the negotiations were not easy and thanked the unions for exhibiting maturity and applying the spirit of give and take adding that have enabled the government to maintain the GDP ratio which paves way for economic growth.
The Two parties negotiated under the guidance of Mr Vincent Musowe, as Chairperson who also highlighted the importance of the health sector in relation to national productivity.
The salaries agreement was based on the correction of distortions and the Notching System which has been introduced in the single Spine Salary Structure that is based on the Job Evaluation and Re-grading (JERG) exercise.