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Zambia Union of Nurses Organisation (ZUNO) has successfully concluded negotiations on behalf of its nurse members in the public sector. The government in Zambia has recognized the importance of the nursing profession in providing quality care to its citizens.

ZUNO has successfully concluded negotiations with government for nurses employed in public sector. Among the achievements are:
⦁ A salary increment for nurses ranging from 16% to 75%. The increment has a social profile with those nurses earning least receiving the highest increment.
⦁ The following allowances have been increased:
⦁ Rural hardship allowance
⦁ Housing allowance
⦁ Night duty allowance
⦁ Per diem travel allowance
⦁ Transport allowance (instead of employers picking up and dropping off employees, they will now be given a monthly allowance)
⦁ Allowances will now be calculated as a salary percentage. Previously, allowances were a fixed sum that often remained constant for several years. Allowances will now be automatically regulated.
⦁ A new insurance health scheme.
⦁ A new public service credit union bank.

Nurses in Zambia are pleased with the outcome of negotiations. Even senior nurses that have received the smallest salary increment understand the importance of giving a larger increment to those nurses earning very little.

ZUNO leaders at national and provincial level are busy communicating negotiation results through membership meetings being held across the country.

A side-effect of these negotiations is that the number of registered paying members through the check-off system has increased significantly. It has been a matter of concern that membership fees being paid by ZUNO members at the workplace were not fully reaching ZUNO headquarters – due to various bureaucratic reasons. The growing recognition of ZUNO has improved the quality of administrative work being done with check-offs at workplaces across the country. Since early this year the amount of funds reaching ZUNO has nearly doubled. Revenue from membership fees is one of the main sources of income for ZUNO.

Words and picture: Michael Vitols
Lusaka, Zambia, June, 2012

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