Mozambique: Health Minister Asks Doctors to Reconsider Strike

Maputo — The Mozambican Health Minister, Armindo Tiago, on Saturday asked the Mozambican Medical Association (AMM) to reconsider its call for on a nationwide strike, starting on 07 November, due to the negative impact it could have on people.

The call comes in response to the AMM announcement made last Friday threatening to go on a national strike if the government fails to correct inconsistencies in the Single Wage Table (TSU).

The TSU, which is still being introduced by the government in the country, cuts the number of wage levels in the public administration to just 21. It sets wages according to three parameters, namely length of service, length of career and educational level.

In the meantime, the doctors claim that they have been betrayed by the government, which has failed to accommodate their demands in the TSU.

The Minister, however, says the well-being of citizens should be above any complaints arising from the TSU implementation.

"We don't want the strike to happen because it will cause problems to the people. The Medical Association, the Order of Doctors and the Ministry of Health and therefore the government, all have a common goal which is to provide better healthcare to the people. And it is with this conviction that we think the strike should not happen," said the minister quoted by Radio Mozambique.

He stressed that the TSU was designed in good faith and so any concerns of the medical profession will be addressed with under the terms of the law.

At the origin of the strike, according to the medical doctors, are the non-conformities in the TSU.

AMM announced on Friday morning that a letter of notice of the strike with the claims of the medical class was sent to the Health Ministry with a copy to the President of the Republic, Minister of Economy and Finance and Minister of State Administration and Civil Service.

In a statement, AMM promises to publish in the coming days, the guidelines of the strike.

The last strike called by AMM was in 2013.

There had been optimism that the TSU would greatly improve the wages in the public administration, but the government explains that here would be no general wage increase for state employees.

Instead, the TSU will lead to the elimination of the wage imbalances that currently exist in the Public Administration. Hence, it is not a wage revision that can be understood as an increase in wages in the public administration.

The government also promised that the TSU will not lower anybody's wages.

If the new wage scale did lead to any individual being paid less than previously, he or she will receive a "wage adjustment allowance".

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