President commends civil servants for showing maturity

Source: President commends civil servants for showing maturity | The Herald January 9, 2019

President commends civil servants for showing maturityPresident Mnangagwa

Felex Share Senior Reporter
President Mnangagwa yesterday paid tribute to civil servants’ unions for displaying “maturity” during a consultative meeting on salaries and conditions of service which the workers held with Government representatives on Monday.

Acting Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Mr George Charamba said the Head of State and Government was aware of the difficulties civil servants were going through and the need to adjust their salaries.

This comes as Civil Service Commission (CSC) chairperson Dr Vincent Hungwe yesterday said the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC), which brings to the table Government and civil servants’ negotiators, should meet by tomorrow.

Dr Hungwe said during the meeting, the Government would announce the cost of living adjustment it is offering and how it will be distributed across grades.

Mr Charamba said President Mnangagwa hinted that any salary adjustments would be made within the limits of the budget.

“This morning I had a telephonic contact with the President, who is still on leave, and in his communication with me, he paid tribute to Government workers for a very fruitful and mature preliminary interaction they had with a team of ministers and officials representing Government,” he said.

“He wanted it known that he is fully aware of the cost of living pressures which the civil servants are going through and the need for Government to try its level best within the limits of the budget to ameliorate these difficulties,” Mr Charamba said.

During the Monday meeting, the Government told its workers that it had a salary offer that would be tabled at the NJNC.

Mr Charamba said the President was also thankful to junior doctors who had resumed work after a month-long strike.

Mr Charamba

“The President has also been thankful to the junior doctors across the country who have heeded the call to return to their workstations in the interest of their patients,” he said.

“He was hopeful that the few who remain will soon appreciate the gravity of their responsibilities so they are in sync with their professional commitments.”

Dr Hungwe said the NJNC would meet not later than tomorrow.

“(It will meet) to outline the principles that will underpin the allocation of the integrated cost of living adjustment (COLA) announced by Government focusing on the following; the distribution of the COLA across all grades of workers, the proportion of the COLA to be allocated as basic salary and housing and transport allowances and the distribution of the COLA to rural versus urban workers,” he said.

He said the meeting would also adopt a common position on the need to integrate a programmatic approach in determining monetary and non-monetary benefits of civil servants in the future.

“It will identify the range of non-monetary benefits including the provision of land for housing in major towns, cities and growth points, the provisions of residential mortgage schemes and vehicle loans and promoting sustainable access to medical care,” Dr Hungwe said.

“It will also agree on a roadmap to roll out establishment of a public service pension scheme based on a funded and defined benefit modality that is guaranteed by Government to protect contributors and generate input to align the current legislation that guides labour relations in the public sector to the constitution.”

He said input would be solicited on the amendment of the Public Service Act, the establishment of the Public Service Collective Bargaining Council and the creation of Tripartite Negotiating Forum to facilitate dialogue among the social partners.

“Government remains committed to engaging its workers to improve their salaries and conditions of service,” Dr Hungwe said.