The Rwanda Workers’ Trade Union Confederation has urged the government to lower the working hours for nurses and increase their salaries for them to be more productive.
On International Labour Day, the union highlighted that over 70% of nurses work over 60 hours a week, receiving meagre salaries ranging from Rwf120,000 to Rwf200,000.
Africain Biraboneye, the General-Secretary of Rwanda Workers’ Trade Union Confederation, emphasized the need for a shift system in sectors such as health, hotels, and private companies, among others.
Rwanda recently revised its law on working hours, reducing it from 45 to 40 hours a week to enable employees to fulfil other obligations. The Ministry of Health, however, announced that working hours in health facilities would remain the same as in 2022.
The government also stated that essential services to the public would remain available throughout the day.
The Rwanda Nurses and Midwives Union noted that nurses and midwives account for 62% of workers who provide medical care, yet they receive a meagre salary.
Biraboneye called for an increase in salaries for executive secretaries of cells across the country, stating that current salaries were not enough to cope with the rise in the cost of living.
Faustin Mwambari, the Head of the Employment Ecosystem Policy and Strategy Department in the Ministry of Public Service and Labour, acknowledged that nurses receive low salaries.
However, he highlighted different initiatives being implemented to incentivize employees in the health sector. The union called on all employers to increase workers’ salaries, address the rise in the cost of living, and implement a minimum wage.