BY MOSES MATENGA
GOVERNMENT yesterday agreed to meet its restive workers today to hammer out a salary deal to avert a crippling strike.
The meeting comes after unions on Monday gave government a seven-day ultimatum to address their grievances.
The strike threat came ahead of schools’ opening on Monday.
In a statement last night, Public Service Commission secretary Jonathan Wutawunashe said: “Government is pleased to confirm that the meeting between workers’ representatives and the government team in the National Joint Negotiating Council is scheduled for tomorrow (today).”
“The meeting will deliberate on cost of living adjustment and other matters that relate to the welfare of civil servants.”
He said government was satisfied with progress in preparations for the opening of schools next week, but threatened to deal with civil servants that would absent themselves without leave.
“All civil servants who have been called to work are expected to report at their work stations on the date they are scheduled to commence work. Government will apply the principle of no work no pay in respect of civil servants who absent themselves from work, a principle that is fair to clients who are entitled to services as well as to those civil servants who report for work,” Wutawunashe said.
“The government reiterates its commitment to continuous and fruitful engagements with its workers towards improving conditions of service for its valued workforce and welcomes the effort to engage tomorrow.”
On March 9, the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions petitioned Public Service minister Paul Mavima notifying him of civil servants’ impending job action.
Civil servants, particularly teachers, are demanding restoration of the purchasing power parity of their salaries to pre-October 2018 levels of US$520 to US$550.