Teachers resist President’s Office supervision

The Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) has escalated resistance to the recent move by government to place the Civil Service Commission (CSC) under the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), citing gross violation of labour rights in the Constitution.

BY Staff Reporter

In December last year, the government announced that the old Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare ministry had been reconfigured to the Labour and Social Welfare ministry, consequently placing the CSC under the OPC with teachers being a significant chunk affected by this move.

In a strong-worded statement released on Monday, Zimta condemned the move as illegal and a conspiracy to thwart possible actions of collective bargaining within the civil service and it demanded the swift reversal of the “unilateral decision” taken by the Emmerson Mnangagwa-led government.

“We have observed that this is a serious threat and a disregard for the labour rights of civil servants as provided for in Section 65(5) of the Constitution.

“We are concerned about the illegality of this move which we believe is setting the stage to destroy harmonisation of labour laws as well as collective bargaining in the civil service. As a labour union, we demand an urgent reversal, withdrawal or retraction of this move and unilateral decision taken by a supposedly democratic government,” Zimta said.

Zimta reminded the government that anything affecting its members without prior consultation and engagement was unacceptable while at the same time placing undertones to remind the government that it was obliged to be democratic in its decisions. “We wish to remind our democratic government of Zimbabwe that anything done for us without us is no for us,” the statement added.

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  1. In the colonial and U D I times, and in the years after the 1980 independence, the public service, including what we now call the civil service/health services board/police service commissionjudicial service commission/prisons and correctional services commission/defense forces commission were all under the stewardship of the prime minister’s office.
    The Minister of all government workers’ welfare is the serving head of government who, in the present scenario, happns to be the state presicent. Unions should not desire the suffering of their clientelle so that they can be seen to be relevant by negotiating their members’ exit from work related disadvantages.
    Zimta wants their members to be underpaid so that they can have the opportunity to participate in collective bargaining on behalf of teachers after which they will seek to meet the president when they have failed to agree with the Ministry appointed to manage issues relating to teachers and other government workers.
    Placing the civil service workforce in the president’s office threatens the existence of the Union and, according to themselves, that should not be allowed.

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