Civil servants abandon salary talks

Source: Civil servants abandon salary talks – NewsDay Zimbabwe

CIVIL servants have resolved to abandon all salary negotiations with government declaring a full-blown strike starting next Monday after their employer refused to pay them in United States dollars.

Workers under the Zimbabwe Congress of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) who include nurses and teachers yesterday resolved to down tools beginning Monday to press for US dollar salaries.

On Monday, government refused to accept their US dollar salary demands and stuck to its earlier offer of 100% salary adjustments in local currency which became effective on July 1.

Addressing a Press conference in Harare yesterday, ZCPSTU team leader Cecilia Alexander said: “Following the Health Service Bipartite Negotiating Panel and National Joint Negotiating Council meetings held on July 4 and 11 of 2022 respectively, which did not yield anything, all the federations which organise under the public sector do hereby declare that the government did not take heed of the call by the workers to improve the USD component,” Alexander said.

“The employer is making unilateral decisions during the negotiating process. We also declare that the workers abandon the negotiating processes which do not uphold constitutional rights of collective bargaining as enshrined in the National Constitution Section 65 (1).”

Efforts to get a comment from Public Service Commission secretary Jonathan Wutaunashe were fruitless yesterday.

In the past, other public sector unions have accused the ZCPSTU of working in cahoots with government to frustrate the educators’ push for US dollar salaries.

The rebuff by their employer seems to have finally united them and they have all agreed to fight together for better salaries.

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, had already abandoned the negotiation process by the NJNC under the ZCPSTU arguing that it was not legally binding.

PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said: “We are happy now that we are singing the same hymn. This marks the beginning of a proper bargaining platform. This is the proper bargaining that we have been calling for over five years. When we unite and speak with one voice, it will strengthen our message. We vehemently reject the 100% salary offer from government. Even with the 100% salary hike, the value, if converted to US$ is way below what we have been earning before it was effected.”