Civil servants rope in lawyers PDF Print E-mail

Civil servants have engaged lawyers seeking legal advice against Government and are threatening to report the employer to the International Labour Organisation after it unilaterally froze the processing of transfers and filling of vacant posts recently.


Created : 10 April 2013


Adapted from The Herald of 09 April 2013


Government also stopped re-gradings and promotions within the civil service citing budgetary constraints.

In an interview yesterday, Zimta chief executive Mr Sifiso Ndlovu said the freeze on the working conditions should be lifted.
“We have engaged lawyers to assist us in approaching the courts because this is an infringement on our working conditions,” he said.

“We were consulting and at the moment we are writing to the Public Service Commission demanding a retraction of the statement and if this does not happen then we are definitely taking them to court.”

The move by Government meant that no promotions would be given to civil servants who further their education while thousands of Government workers, especially teachers, who wanted to transfer for various reasons have been affected.

Said Mr Ndlovu: “The law cannot be applied in retrospect and there are people who furthered their education who should be promoted as well as others who are in dire need of transfers and they should get them.”

College Lecturers Association of Zimbabwe president Mr David Dzatsunga said they would report Government to ILO, a United Nations agency that deals with labour issues, particularly international labour standards and decent work for all.

“We have no option because this unilateral move by Government is in complete contravention of our employment contract. We have no doubt ILO will have to call Government to order by demanding a rescission of this illegal attack on the workers ‘rights’.

Teachers Union of Zimbabwe chief executive Mr Manuel Nyawo said the move by Government was illegal since workers were not consulted.
“Most headmasters and deputy heads do not hold substantive positions and cannot make binding decisions which is probably the reason why there is chaos in terms of pass rates in schools. Faced with that, someone goes on to freeze promotions and the filling of vacant posts. Promotion is a right and this Government should be accountable to the people,” he said.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary general Mr Raymond Majongwe said they were seeking an audience with Finance Minister Tendai Biti over the issue.
“We need an inclusive decision not what an individual person has concluded. This is demonstration that some people who wanted to be leaders in Government have failed to lead because such decisions never happened when we had a single Government,” he said.

The announcement by Government dealt a major blow on the civil servants who are earning salaries way below the poverty datum line.
The lowest paid Government worker is taking home US$296 while the poverty datum line is over US$600.





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