Written by YAMIKANI SIMUTOWE
BLANTYRE—Pressure continues to pile on Pres Joyce Banda’s administration as the Organization of Nurses and Midwives (NONM) has given government a 14-day ultimatum from Tuesday to respond to their concerns or they will join the ongoing civil servants' strike in the next two weeks.
NONM say government should respond to their concerns within 14 days or they will order NONM to close all public health facilities across the country.
The ultimatum expires on February 25, 2013, according to NONM’s national executive director Harriet Kapyepye.
They have also said they expect tangible results from the meeting between government and unionists.
“Nurses are severely hit by the high cost of living just like civil servants as a result of devaluation and floatation of the Malawi Kwacha. We therefore ask the government respond to our concerns or...NONM will close the health facilities once the ultimatum expires without tangible responses from the government,” she said.
However, Kapyepye said in the event of fully fledged strike, nurses would only attend to “serious cases” and critically ill patients while the rest would be asked to seek medical care from other clinics.
Government on Wednesday urged civil servants to end the strike, inviting the unionists to roundtable discussions through the department of public services management.
However, Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) secretary general Pontius Kalichero said although the union was ready to resume talks with government, the strike will continue as the disgruntled civil servants wouldn't return to work.
But civil servants in Blantyre said Wednesday that they have resolved to join the stay away beginning Thursday.
“Civil servants are angry and they are ready to continue with the sit in and if there is no response from government, we will develop into a fully fledged strike possibly from next week,” said Servace Sakala, CSTU regional chairperson for the south.
(c) The Mara vi Post 2013