The Health Ministry announced its intention to punish nurses absent from work today [Wednesday] in the name of the strike.
The statement said the Ministry of Health has already started the payment of the approved allowances of the nurses; therefore, it sees no reason for them to go on strike.
“The Ministry of Health wishes to inform the Nurses and Midwives Association that the payment of the approved allowances by the Ministry of Health has already started and is in progress. The Central Bank has been posting the payments to individual staff bank accounts. Some nurses have already confirmed receiving their payments. The hospitals submitted their list only yesterday (30th September 2021) and are being processed for immediate payment. The Ministry of Health therefore sees no reason for the nurses to go on strike,” a statement from the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
The statement has threatened to punish nurses who fail to report to work because of the proposed strike scheduled to commence today.
“All staff are expected to be at their duty station tomorrow and on time.
“Failure to report to work will be considered as absenteeism and will be dealt with according to the stipulated laws.
“The Regional Health Directors, Heads of Health Institutions, and all Heads of Units are requested to take a register of those who are deliberately absent from work for action.
“The full wrath of the regulations will be prescribed for those not in their duty post effective 1st September 2021,” the statement added.
The ministry strongly urged all nurses to be at work on Wednesday and on time as dictated by their respective duty rosters.
The ministry on 24th August in a letter to the association of nurses said it would pay the allowances of the nurses in September and requested the association to exercise a little bit of patience while it does that. However, the association rejected the request and vowed to press ahead with their proposed industrial action slated for 1st September 2021 if their allowances are not paid latest 31st August 2021.
In a dramatic twist, the Ministry has paid the allowances of some of the nurses, which the association confirmed; but they are determined to carry out their planned sit-down strike until all nurses receive their allowances.