Govt succumbs to pressure

ZIMBABWE’S restive civil servants have managed to nudge government into negotiations after they threatened to embark on a nationwide strike starting next week in protest over their poor salaries and the deteriorating economic situation in the country.

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, in a bid to avert a crippling strike, yesterday invited all heads of civil servants’ unions to a crisis meeting in Harare on Monday to address their welfare, amid threats by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and the opposition MDC to join the industrial action.

Labour and Social Welfare acting minister July Moyo said all union leaders must attend without fail.

“The meeting is part of the commitment of government to engage with all its employees in pursuit of developing common positions in relation to the improvement of employee salaries and generally resolve any matters that impact their conditions of service,” he said in a statement.

Government workers, particularly teachers, had threatened to down tools on schools’ opening day on Tuesday if government failed to pay them in hard currency or increase their salaries to at least $3 000.

Moyo said besides union leaders, the meeting would also be attended by Labour, Finance, Primary and Secondary Education, Higher and Tertiary Education ministers and the chairperson of the Public Service Commission.

The meeting comes at a time government has failed to resolve the doctors’ month-long strike over similar grievances.

Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu said his union was already consulting structures to come up with a common position ahead of the Monday meeting.

“We are consulting and ready to talk with the employer on issues that affect our membership. We are ready for that important meeting,” he said.

Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou said although they had not yet been officially invited to the meeting, they viewed it as an attempt to stop the imminent strike.

“We wonder why the employer had to wait until the 11th hour to attend to our issues, when it is very clear that we raised these issues long back?” Zhou said.

“It is an attempt to stop the strike or any industrial action. But we will see how the issue pans out. If they invite us under Apex Council, we will not attend the meeting. That Apex thing is a useless thing, which has a tendency to massage the employer. But if we are called as independent teacher unions, we will attend.”

Apex Council chairperson, Cecilia Alexander was not reachable for comment last night.

11 Comments

  1. I dont sense any succumbing this is jst simple dialogue just like in any house or corporate wth disagrements the one with the whistle calls the shots thats the employer Zanu pf not Usa or anyone else,ndokutonga ka,tochiwaudza zwatoda towatererawo zwichemo zwawo then reach an agreement zwobuda pa ZBC moona mese or kutenga bepa,politics kurongerana

  2. Fire fighting on the part of the government.

  3. Two cannot walk together unless they agree.
    The government must prove its commitment in the matter whilst the civil servants try relegate their demands to tenable standards depending on the current economic status.
    Its then and only then that we can harmonize this conflict.
    Chest-thumbing will never salvage anything.

  4. mablacks mablacks

    Comment…are these government employees not part of government? those organizations seen on WhatsApp during work but at end we say the government has failed ..who is the government ?can anyone explain better …we. see them failing to give better services

  5. Ku Education kuchiri neproblem but I don’t forget Dokora the devil. The Government managed to buy maChief expensive cars, they hired expensive aircraft for Grace to fly from Singapore to Harare. The Government bought expensive vehicles for Ministers using rate payers money. For them to tell us that they don’t have forex when they are buying all those cars using forex its a joke.

  6. Too many factors at play…demand too great for supply…demand for a better Zimbabwe being stifled by Governments decision to keep bond notes in circulation… So lets say everyone gets $3000 bond a month…that automatically renders Mthuli’s budget useless…then what??? More Tax from ?2% to 4% to 10% ???We keep hearing of Fires Being Put Out yet the trouble causer Bond Paper is still in circulation …come on guys 0x0= Not 1:1 with the US$ …So Deltas fire was put out…until when???You Don’t Need a Reality Check to see Zimbabweans just want a better Life…We are Tired.

  7. Comment… Was the national budget in bond notes or US$? Can the relevant Minister please answer?

  8. Comment… There are too many people who are on govt payroll despite being out of service. These include include those who were in the security service but decided to retire before the retirement age. Such people continue to get full salaries. Are these not ghost workers?

  9. tendai chaminuka

    If Ntuli could adjust the budget for parliamentarians so that they can get their cruiser.Do the same for civil servants.Mari iripo but this booze cabinet goes for luxuries.

  10. Apply a bit of logic here: if govt has NOT made an agreement with doctors/nurses, what are the chances of it agreeing with teachers?
    If doctors have exposed the dishonesty of govt as the employer will teachers overlook this?
    How come it appears so much easier for the VP to fire trained personnel that actually do some work than “ghost workers” who never even finished primary school and are of truly zero value to the tax payer?

  11. Your Name (required):Special Black

    Workers tested the sweetness of USD now they dont want to miss it. Well USD cannot be used as a currency of a country but forex reserves. USD sal and allowances can only found when someone is on a foreign mission. What the gvt should do is revising its sal budget in bond note or Rand and declare that noone will be paid in usd. of course there are other political players who want to take advandage, but the truth is gvt should correct this.

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