MASERU — Christian Health Association of Lesotho (CHAL) health workers have suspended their strike to give government time to sort out their salary issues.
Last week health workers in CHAL hospitals and clinics went on go-slows and others on a strike to force government to improve their salaries to match those of their counterpart in government-run hospitals.
CHAL health workers who spoke to this paper on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation said they agreed to stop the mass action after government and CHAL management pledged to improve their salaries by the end of this month.
A health worker at Paray Hospital in Thaba Tseka said workers that included pharmacy technicians, nurses and nurse assistants started reporting back to work on Saturday and Sunday after their salaries, which were formerly increased, were cut last month.
He said last week the CHAL secretariat had written a letter to assure them that they would get the improved salaries together with the arrears backdated to April when government implemented the revised salaries structure for civil servants.
“We have decided to wait until month-end to see if they keep their word.
“We agreed that further action will be taken depending on the outcome of their pledge,” said the employee.
A health practitioner at St Joseph Hospital in Roma said they received communication from the ministry that their salaries would be reviewed.
“We have decided to wait till pay day to see if our salaries have been improved. If there is no chance we will go on with our strike until our issue is resolved,” she said.
She said the hospital board had informed them their salaries would be cut at the end of this month.
Some workers had received reviewed salaries earlier this year. The board, workers said, told them that the hospital could no longer afford to pay improved salaries if government does not give CHAL some money.
However health workers from Maluti Adventist Hospital in Mapoteng said they have been discouraged by a message from their human resource manager that their improved salaries would come later than they expect.
“We are discouraged. We do not know what to expect after the human resource manager said that even if government gave them money it would take a long time before our salaries were reviewed,” said the employee.
Attempts to get comment from CHAL or management from any of the hospitals were unsuccessful.