GOVERNMENT has appointed Simon Masanga as its team leader at the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) as it moves to appease restless civil servants.
Masanga, an official from the Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment ministry, replaces acting Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Maxwell Ranga.
In a December 29 2014 letter to Masanga, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Prisca Mupfumira said the incoming team leader was appointed after recommendations by the Public Service Commission.
His appointment came as the Apex Council has resolved to temporarily shelve the impending strike following lack of consensus among worker representatives over their labour–related grievances.
Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu said the Apex Council failed to agree on the causes of the conflict between government and civil servants and the timing of the industrial action.
“Discussing the strike, the house was not in agreement on two fundamental points: Causes of the conflict (and) timing and date of the strike,” he said.
“The strike was viewed by some as pursuing pre-determined decisions outside Apex Council, while some saw it as a membership mobilising tool and the timing was appropriate and opportune to pile up all past grievances on this action.
“Due to lack of unanimity on this issue, the meeting resolved to meet on the 27th of January 2015 to strategise further on the strike.”
He said the council resolved to pursue the 2015 bonus issue although some government quarters indicated this was a privilege that could not be tampered with.
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe, however, said their meeting with the incoming minister was “nothing, but a public relations event” at which Mupfumira presented “her impressive CV reflecting that she has been in industry for the past 33 years”.
During the meeting, Mupfumira told the workers’ representatives that government was facing serious cashflow challenges and pleaded with civil servants to be patient.
Majongwe accused the other workers’ representatives of bootlicking.