Sunday Mail Reporter
Parties to the Tripartite Negotiation Forum (TNF), which hit turbulent times last year as both private and public labour unions boycotted the forum due to disagreements on the agenda, will convene anytime soon after agreeing to iron out their differences.
The principals met recently and agreed to convene another meeting.
Salaries for both the private sector and civil servants are expected to be one of the main items on the agenda.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima said he is now waiting for reports from technical committees to set the actual date for the meeting.
“I have met with principals to the TNF — Mr (Peter) Mutasa for labour and Dr (Israel) Murefu for business and others — and we have agreed that we should go ahead with the main meeting,” he said.
“So we will meet as soon as we receive technical reports from technical committees to set up the agenda and come up with a date.
“We have agreed that we should meet once every quarter and I don’t see any hurdles in our way now because we have ironed out our differences and we are ready to negotiate.”
Professor Mavima said the Government is committed to ensuring that workers have competitive salaries.
“The main bone of contention had been the issue of salaries and now that we are expecting a roadmap for salary increments from the NJNC (National Joint Negotiating Council) by the end of this month, I don’t think there will be any problems,” he said.
“A number of National Employment Councils are already in negotiations with employers, so that is good progress already.
“I will also be meeting with the President soon to apprise him of the expectations and demands that the principals have.” The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president, Mr Peter Mutasa, said his organisation is keen to work with parties to the TNF and will thus attend the meeting.
“We had a principals meeting with the minister and we were very clear about what needs to be done,” he said.
“Incomes are being eroded by inflation and prices are being pegged in US dollars, and those are the things that need to be addressed.
“We want the minister to call for a special TNF meeting to discuss these issues. If the minister calls for a meeting today and there are no income and price issues on the agenda, then we do not see the need to attend because at this time these are the pressing issues.”
Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz) president Dr Israel Murefu confirmed that business will attend the meeting. “Yes, we are going to attend as representatives of business,” he said.
“We had a meeting of principals in early February and we agreed that we should meet soon, hopefully end of February or the beginning of March. I don’t think there will be any problems this time around.”