Govt braces for crippling strike

CIVIL servants’ threats to go on strike if government fails to pay them by close of business today has sent government into a panic mode, with the Health ministry announcing measures to brace for a full-scale strike.

BY EVERSON MUSHAVA/PHYLLIS MBANJE

lazurus dokora

Despite threats by acting Public Service minister Lazarus Dokora, government workers yesterday vowed to go ahead with their planned strike.

All along, government had been downplaying the strike threats by doctors and nurses, but an official in the Health ministry yesterday announced contingency plans as government braces for the potentially crippling strike.

Secretary for Health Gerald Gwinji yesterday urged chief executives of government hospitals and provincial medical directors to brace for the worst-case scenarios, saying: “Following the threat of work stoppage by some health workers, you are hereby requested to make contingency plans to ensure that all hospital critical areas are adequately staffed and remain functional during the said period (Jan 1-5).”

Health minister David Parirenyatwa also said while he sympathised with the health workers, they should give negotiations a chance.

“They surely must be paid on time because health services are very essential.

We are sympathetic to their cause, but the patient must come first,” Parirenyatwa implored.

Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu said his organisation was already making wide consultations with its members to prepare for the mass action if government failed to address their concerns. Ndlovu said threats would not work, and government only has oneoption: to revive dialogue with its workers and immediately address its consequences.

“We encourage government to put in place democratic structures. Threats will not work, they will only fortify us to do more than what we had initially planned,” Ndlovu said.

Dokora on Tuesday warned civil servants against going on strike, saying they should exhaust all channels spelt out by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) before embarking on an illegal strike.

Government has already paid teachers, while the rest of the civil service will be paid on January 5. Teachers, however, had shown dismay after substantial amounts of money, ranging from $50 to $90, were deducted from each as government reintroduces the $7,55 monthly pension contribution.

But Ndlovu said government was the biggest culprit in violating the CSC regulations by announcing issues regarding its workers through newspapers when there were laid-down procedures. “In any way, no strike since independence has been called legal.

We are not going to be moved by these threats. Government has methodically killed dialogue. Although as teachers we have been paid, we still have other concerns.

The issue of bonuses, the deductions made on our salaries and breakdown of dialogue should be addressed,” he said.

“Our planning is independent of the minister. Our plans are not influenced by the wishes of the minister. We will go ahead with the strike if that is what our members have suggested.”

The Public Service Association (PSA), which represents the rest of the civil service, said government should be forewarned of grave consequences should its members go on strike.

PSA in a statement said it felt strongly undermined by government’s failure to engage them, and then make announcements through the media. The labour body said the decision by government to deduct money from their meagre salaries was immoral.

“At this juncture we are finding it difficult to convince our members to be calm at this sad development.

In view of the foregoing, if civil servants resolve to go on strike over prevailing poor conditions of service and lack of serious engagement, the government is hereby forewarned,” PSA said.

Public Service minister Prisca Mupfumira on Monday said they had not met the Apex Council, the umbrella body for all civil service labour unions, because government had no money and there was nothing to talk about.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association yesterday weighed in, saying salaries were a human right and government should honour its obligations on time. Govt braces for crippling strike

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16 Responses to Govt braces for crippling strike

  1. Thomas December 31, 2015 at 9:19 am #

    With unemployment at 85% in Zimbabwe can Civil Servants go on strike and risk being sacked? The govt knows that these are the usual empty threats. In any case govt has no money so what do they want it to do? Civil servants should wait for next when the Yuan will be introduced and the economy will be boosted. Govt has preserved these jobs over the years and civil servants should be grateful that they are still employed when employees in the private sector have lost jobs. Civil Service salaries,bonuses and pensions will be fully paid off when the Yuan and mega projects in 2016 begin to yield positive results . Patience pays!

    • Sagitarr December 31, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

      I don’t know how old you are Thomas, but there are millions out there who have been very patient with this govt for 35 years – and this patience has NOT paid!! They’ve been treated like dogs.

  2. AMG December 31, 2015 at 9:32 am #

    @Thomas ……seriously? watoperera ipapa

    • ini hangu December 31, 2015 at 10:15 am #

      Thomas yu are not serious.the yuan issue is utter nonsense.tell us why should the governmemt just deduct peoples monies without notifying them.they skipped dialogue and did what they thought was right.We cant be taken for a ride.they splashed millions in vic falls,they also held an Xmas party for the cabinet ….but they cant find money for salaries…..Iye chinamasa splashed millions on top of the range vihicles as well as the president’s trips but he cant find money for salaries and bonuses.

      Tell us ,where is Mugabe and whose money is he spending?

  3. tomboya December 31, 2015 at 9:40 am #

    Minister of health you are not serious; what negotiations are you talking about? that stage was skipped by govt. not at this stage when have you already messed up. the govt has to engage in self-talk and depart from a position of high handedness.

    • Change Careers December 31, 2015 at 11:53 am #

      No one forced you to work for gvt changes employers if you are musatinetse nekuti strike this strike that endai you will be replaced by people who want jobs

      • Cardiothocic January 1, 2016 at 9:43 pm #

        shame you are so heartless, selfish and just unwise

  4. Ndini ndadaro December 31, 2015 at 11:28 am #

    Siyai President vamboite happy, maproblems ese disappear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Asijiji December 31, 2015 at 11:43 am #

    ZANU inoda kujairira vanhu manje masoja ndimi munosustainer madinga akadai gore rino tinomama tese

  6. ane nzara December 31, 2015 at 2:26 pm #

    veduwe musatauta mashoko ekupenga iwe change careers wakadhakwa iwe situation ndiyo yakatiforcer kuita macivil servants….madegree edu emamwe mabasa tinawo hobho bt basa rachi riripi

  7. Arrested.Sasha.Jogi December 31, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

    Civil servants are useless unqualified Zanu pf stooges or ghost workers.If all of them fired no one would notice.

  8. Pondo December 31, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

    It is not by choice that govt failed to pay civil service salaries,bonuses and pensions for the first time since independence in 1980. Chinamasa tried all the tricks in his book but failed to raise the money. He minted bond coins, printed the USD thru issuing Treasury Bills, increased fines and import duties but to no avail. The salary payment prospects in 2016 look gloomy. As the economy shrinks further and revenue collections fall how will govt finance civil service employments costs? Chinamasa needs to come clear on this one and indicate how he is egoing to raise money and finance these expenditures. Civil Servants need to know in advance monthly salary payment dates for 2016 so that they can plan accordingly. Salary payment dates must be fixed in advance for each month in 2016.

  9. SARRA42472 December 31, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

    as Phyllis replied I am in shock that any body able to make $4140 in a few weeks on the internet . try this website..

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  10. zanda shumba January 2, 2016 at 8:06 am #

    @thomas cio and change carreers
    failure to pay civil servants is a serious symptom of government failure. sadly mugabe and his cohorts are in a denial phase disregarding all the signs of economic collapse. mugabe and his gvt never at any time had people’s interests at heart. mugabe dodged cunningly all fair due electoral processes to ‘win’ incumbency. he cant deliver, he is raping the will of the zimbabweans.

  11. Muller January 2, 2016 at 8:35 am #

    In so much as gvt wants to always pay soldiers and police on time there needs to be a balance cz if the ordinary civil servant leaves then you have a problem who will process the payroll who will ensure things are kept running. Ma1 anenge atanga stranely vese vai fara kuri the old economy is dying handichavaona cz realutty sets in that you cannot tax the “new informal economy”

  12. ssara522 January 3, 2016 at 10:26 am #

    as Phyllis replied I am in shock that any body able to make $4140 in a few weeks on the internet . try this website..

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