A case between Tšepong nurses and the hospital management which was pencilled for Wednesday this week at the Labour Court has been pushed back to next Wednesday.
According to the Lesotho Nurses Association (LNA) Secretary General ‘Mamonica Mokhesi, the case which was lodged by the nurses regarding a salary marsh that has been going on between them and their employer Queen Mamohato Memorial Hospital (QMMH/Tšepong) was postponed because the management of the hospital was yet to prep for the case.
For over five years the Tšepong-employed nurses have been on huff about the ‘peanuts’ they were earning, thus imploring for an increment to match the standard of their qualifications, but their pleas have fallen on deaf ears as the management instead threatened to cut their salaries worse or even show them the door.
The protracted tiff has swollen to the extent where the nurses boycotted the wards and instigated a go-slow earlier this year. Discontented with the movement, the management kicked the nurses out of the hospital yard.
The irate nurses then took a step further and sought the court’s intervention. The case was filed before Judge Motlatsi Monoko.
Mokhesi who was breathing fire, narrated that the reason for a postponement of the case was that Tšepong was not ready as they are still preparing themselves for the case and that the hospital requested for a next week postponement.
“We are not interested in law; we didn’t even create laws because we know nothing about the law. All we know is the rule of life, and our lives are at risk,” Mokhesi said.
“We are trained professionals, we have licenses, we have been interviewed and for sure nobody was forced to be a nurse,” she said.
She added, “We need our money, we don’t care where it comes from and we are not fighting anybody. All we want to know is a person who took the nurses’ purse,” she said.
She further stated that NetCare, the company engaged in a public-private-partnership (PPP) with Government together with the government have to answer their concerns as the two entities have been playing the blame game on each other at the nurses’ expense.
“We are not interested in the postponement because we are now called law offenders, so we don’t have any interest in those issues, all we want is our money. We are going to hold a close meeting with Tšepong on Friday (today). We need Net Care to bring our money and explain before us why it pays Tšepong the little amount.
“NetCare pays a chunk of money to other hospitals across the world and it does not pay anything close to what the government pays, they have been told that there are slaves in Lesotho who will dig this diamond for them, the reason they pay us peanuts,” she said.
“We used to be sleeping giants, we are now awake,” she said.
She further added that, “We don’t need negotiations now, we need money, and we shall see which one supersedes the other between rule of law and rule of life. It is unfortunate that people’s lives are lost in the blame games.
“We have a right to live as other people live and we have a right to security, our children and spouses have the right to see us alive, we cannot give life to people yet we don’t have it,” she concluded.