Civil servants finally call off fading strike

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Union leaders representing civil servants on Monday met and resolved to call off their month-long industrial action that saw teachers, nurses and other government workers down tools.

Though the strike had fizzled out in some sectors including education, where teachers returned to class after parents offered them incentives, union leaders only called off the strike after government threatened to sack the strikers.

Leader of the Apex Council that led the strike, Tendai Chikowore, said union bosses decided that civil servants should return to work while their leaders confront government.

Chikowore said: “We have written to government to seek audience on Wednesday and if we don’t get that, we will stay there until they come to talk to us”.

In anticipation of a rebuff from government, Chikowore also called on all civil servants from across the country to converge outside the Parliament building on March 16.

“That is when Parliament will be sitting and we want to be there. If government ignores us on Wednesday, we will stay at their offices and we will leave on our way to Parliament”.

The development came after the Apex Council ultimatum was largely ignored by the government.

Last month the government unilaterally increased salaries of its staff, but not to levels that they had demanded.

Civil servants wanted to be paid a minimum of about $530 a month, however, the government only hiked their transport and accommodation allowances – in some instances the increases were as low as seven dollars.

In a petition handed over to Parliament in February, the civil servants had threatened a “ruinous course of action if government did not bow down to pressure.”