Civil servants give Govt two-week ultimatum PDF Print E-mail

CIVIL servants have given Government a two-week ultimatum to improve their salaries and working conditions or face a nationwide strike.


Created: 07- July 2012



Adapted from The Herald: 05-07-2012

The resolution was made by the Apex Council after a National Joint Negotiating Council meeting in Harare.
According to the Apex Council the Government came to the negotiating table “empty handed”.

The Apex Council brings together the Public Service Association, Zimbabwe Teachers Association, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe and Teachers Union of Zimbabwe.
Apex Council chairperson Mrs Tendai Chikowore said nothing concrete came out of yesterday’s meeting.
“We expected Government to take it up from the last meeting but surprisingly they came empty handed and demanded that we submit our demands to them again, which we did,” she said.

“To us this is a way of buying time and we are giving them time to do something in 14 days because it is a matter that should be treated with urgency.”
Mrs Chikowore, who is also Zimta president, said they had also considered that Finance Minister Tendai Biti will be presenting the Mid-Term Policy Statement next week. “It is our hope that Minister Biti will consider our plight and offer us something reasonable since he ignored us in the last budget announcement. We have decided to wait for his presentation,” she said.
Minister Biti has already indicated that a salary increase for the Government workers is unlikely as the economy had failed to perform as expected during the first quarter of this year.
In their demands submitted yesterday, the workers are demanding an all-inclusive salary of US$564 for the least paid worker and 15 percent of the basic salary as rural allowance.
The least paid Government worker is getting US$296.
TUZ president Mr Lovemore Mufamba said Government had promised to increase salaries in July but was now reneging on the agreement.
“They invited us to this meeting but surprisingly they did not want to talk about welfare issues.
“They wanted to focus on peripheral issues and non-functional committees like the resource tracking one and to us this is not a bread and butter issue,” said Mr Mufamba.
He said they will start mobilising for the strike if nothing comes up in the Mid Term Review Policy Statement.
“We cannot spend the whole year without an increment. We are just waiting for an increment in the next few days, failure of which we will take action,” he said.
PTUZ secretary Raymond Majongwe said a political decision was needed to ensure civil servants get an increment.
“I don’t see these junior Government officials taking us anywhere. What is needed is for President Mugabe to hear the plight of the workers and make a decision.
“We have written to him and our hopes have not faded and we are waiting to hear from him. The discussions we are holding are not helping any matters because we have been harping on the issue for the past years without success,” he said.
The workers wrote to President Mugabe last month imploring him to intervene in the salary impasse.
The workers approached the President last year after exhausting all negotiating channels and subsequently got an increment after meeting him.
Efforts to get a comment from Public Service Minister Lucia Matibenga were fruitless as her mobile phone was not reachable.
Government chief negotiator Mr Prince Mupazviriho was also not reachable.
The workers have been agitating for a salary increment that is in line with the poverty datum line for the past three years without success.
Minister Biti has repeatedly told them Treasury is operating on a “shoe-string budget” and salaries would be improved when the revenue inflows improve.





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