National Organisation of Nurses and Midwifes of Malawi (Nonm) has put its weight behind the Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) quest for strikes on February 11 and 12.

CSTU wants to strike to push for salary increment and improved working conditions following alleged failure of negotiations with government.

Speaking at a joint news briefing in Lilongwe on Wednesday, Nonm president Jonathan Abraham-Gama said grievances raised by CSTU concern nurses, too.

“Malawian nurses face a lot of challenges, including poor working conditions and salaries,” said Gama.

He rebuked government for spending millions acquiring vehicles for its former and incumbent officials amid drug shortages in public hospitals.

“Even if we stay at work, there is nothing we can do in serving patients’ lives with no drugs in the hospitals,” said Gama.

CSTU president Elia Kamphinda-Banda argued the two-day strike is a last resort after failed negotiations, collective bargaining and commitment towards meeting civil servants needs on the part of the government.

“We are using labour laws which say strikes should be a last resort. We have been engaging in negotiations with the government till June last year when government promised to address our problems, but nothing has been done since then,” said Banda.

He said CSTU will not initiate further negotiations because government has remained silent on previous agreements.

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