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Workers unions invite minister in nurses salary fight

Striking Queen 'Mamohato Memorial Hospital nurses

Feb. 26, 2021 2 min read

2 min read

A COALITION of the Health Professionals Associations (HPA) and the Lesotho Workers Association (LeWA) has requested the Minister of Labour and Employment Moshe Leoma to intervene in the scuffle in which nurses from the Queen ’Mamohato Memorial Hospital (Tšepong) are fighting for their salaries review.

he two associations raised their concern over the prolonged salaries struggle at Tšepong in a brief letter addressed to the newly appointed minister, dated on February 24, 2021.

“The struggle has been going on for years and has led to nursing and pharmacy staff withdrawing from duty, this has long affected all our members, patients and Basotho at large.

“HPA and LeWA therefore strongly advise you to act in accordance with the Labour Code Order 1992 Section 232 with immediate effect to save the lives of Basotho,” the associations said in their unified letter.

The letter was handed over to Mr Leoma on Wednesday during a meeting that was held at Tšepong and after endorsing it, he requested to be given time to study both the contents of letter and the background of the struggle before he gives his feedback.

LeWA General Secretary Hlalefang Seoaholimo said if the dispute is not settled within a week of the letter to the minister, such minister, shall immediately apply to the Labour Court for a ruling on the matter.

The court he said shall issue a decision within 30 days of the filing of the application by the Minister.

Any action in pursuance of a trade dispute that threatens the continuance of essential services and persists after the dispute has been referred by the minister to the Labour Commissioner or the Labour Court shall be unlawful, Mr Seoaholimo said.      

Accepting the letter, Mr Leoma pledged to do everything possible to bring long lasting solutions to the QMMH struggle.

On behalf of HPA, Dr Mojakisane Ramafikeng said there is no one who is above the law, adding they are involving the minister in a legal way, hoping there will be a long lasting solution to the issue.

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“We will convince the court to take our concern into consideration because we have documentation to prove everything we are complaining about,” he said.

For a long time, the Lesotho Nurses Association (LNA) has been complaining that nurses and nursing assistants working for QMMH and Net care Lesotho are being under paid yet they are the backbone of the health care system in Lesotho.

Responding to the nursing and midwifery personnel who are on go-slow, the Lesotho Nursing Council (LNC) took a swipe at them, accusing them of acting both unethically and unprofessionally, while also putting patients under their care at risk.

The council has appealed to the picketing health care providers to get proper guidance on how to table their grievances in accordance with laws that govern the trade in terms of industrial actions.

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