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MBABANE – It is a change of heart for government. This is so because it has finally agreed to go to the negotiations table with doctors and nurses before implementing the circular which seeks to reduce their on-call allowances.

The last-minute change by government was disclosed by its lawyer Bheki Tsabedze in court yesterday.
“Government is of the view that the matter should be postponed to April 9, 2018 to allow negotiations, “submitted Tsabedze.


This means that for now nurses and doctors would continue being paid their on- call allowances using the old circular.
About 100 nurses yesterday crammed Court two of the Industrial Court and they left all smiles after hearing the news that government was now prepared to negotiate with them.
Pending the conclusion of the negotiations, their on-call allowances would being paid using the old scale.
The court also extended an interim order it previously granted where it stopped government from implementing the circular.
This, after the Swaziland Nurses Association approached the Industrial Court on urgent basis.

The respondents, the Ministry of Public Service, Ministry of Health, secretary to Cabinet and the attorney general, failed to oppose the application. 

Through their attorney Bheki Tsabedze, they made a hue and cry that they had not been given sufficient time to respond to averments made by the nurses.

They described the application by the nurses as an ambush.  It was further government’s arguments that the urgency of the matter was self-created as the Circular was issued on January 25, 2018 but the nurses did nothing, instead decided to approach the court on the 11th hour.

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