Infighting scuttles Govt pay deal | The Herald

via Infighting scuttles Govt pay deal | The Herald December 16, 2013 by Takunda Maodza

RENEWED infighting within the Apex Council is threatening negotiations to review civil servants’ salaries, with six unions last Friday boycotting a meeting convened by the body to appoint negotiators to engage Government.

The Apex Council, which represents civil servants in salary negotiations, is expected to meet Government today.

But there are allegations that not all unions are serious about representing workers.

One union boss said ultimately the divisions would cast Government in bad light as it would be accused of not reviewing civil servants’ salaries.

Of 12 unions that make up the Apex Council, only six attended Friday’s meeting with the other six boycotting.

The six that attended came up with a list of negotiators which they forwarded to Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Nicholas Goche.

However, the other half of the Apex Council does not recognise the list and says the nominees cannot negotiate salaries on their behalf.

Government has told the unions to get organised to make headway.

President Mugabe last week said Government was committed to a salary increment, while the Zanu-PF Annual National People’s Conference in Chinhoyi at the weekend resolved that the State should peg minimum wages to the Poverty Datum Line.

These expressions of goodwill and efforts at making civil servants’ salaries better are, however, being stalled by divisions among union leaders.

Last Friday’s meeting was attended by the Zimbabwe Teachers Association, the Public Service Association, the Government Officers Association, the Administration and Executive Association, and the Profession and Technical Officers Association.

Those that did not show up are the College Lecturers’ Association of Zimbabwe, the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, the Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Rural Teachers Union and the Zimbabwe Law Officers Association.

“Mindful of the need to be co-ordinated as workers’ side negotiators and guided by the provision of the Statutory Instrument 141 of 1997 subsection 2b, the meeting resolved to appoint the following as team leaders and alternate respectively: Cecilia Alexander and Manuel Nyawo.

“Concerned with the delay in the appointment of workers’ side of the negotiators, the unions advise Government to respect decisions of the meetings and desist from entertaining loose and individual presentations.

“We remain concerned and regret misrepresentations made by some of the unions that continue to denigrate the sanctity of organised engagement,” read minutes from those that attended the Apex Council’s Friday meeting.

Other negotiators who were nominated are Mr Sifiso Ndlovu and Mr John Mlilo (both Zimta), Emmanuel Tichareva (PSA), Raymond Majongwe (PTUZ), John Togara (GWA), Richard Gundane (Zimta), and Masimba Kadzimu (CSEA).

“The meeting of the six unions on Friday was a full quorum as it included two apologies. The two apologies mean that eight unions were technically present at the meeting.

“The meeting reaffirmed the decision we took on October 22 to appoint negotiators that were already submitted to Government. The problem is that some people are not serious about the negotiations because they want positions with the Apex Council.

“They do not care about representing their membership. We are sending the names to the minister today (Friday) so that we can meet him on Monday (today),” said Zimta chief executive officer Mr Ndlovu.

The College Lecturers’ Association of Zimbabwe and the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe yesterday confirmed they boycotted the meeting.

“We did not attend. They brought people who do not normally attend Apex Council meetings. Imagine each of those unions bringing 15 people who have nothing to do with the council.

“It would have turned out to be a rally and violence could have broken out and so we chose not to attend,” said Mr David Dzatsunga of Colaz.

He said he was Apex Council chairperson and did not recognise Mr Richard Gundane as the new leader.
“Legally, I am the chairperson of the Apex Council. I was elected last year replacing Tendai Chikowore. There is a serious fight for positions within the Apex Council.

“It is difficult for somebody like me to just leave office when I was constitutionally elected. People cannot just wake up and say they now lead the Apex Counci,” Mr Dzatsunga said.

He dismissed claims that six unions attended Friday’s meeting saying these were mere affiliates of the PSA.
“Whatever resolution they will take to the minister is not binding. They are trying to put the minister in a difficult position so that he is blamed for not reviewing civil servants salaries.

“It is very sad for the civil service that we have leaders like these when people are suffering,” Mr Dzatsunga said.
Mr Majongwe said he boycotted because other unions brought “strangers” to the meeting.

Last month Minister Goche appealed to the unions to shun divisions and come to the negotiating table united to review the working conditions of the civil servants.



  • comment-avatar
    Kalusha 8 years ago

    Stage managed confusion,fortunate they will get away with it as zimbos are docile cows.late the ex-combatants do what they like cause with the corwards we have today zim could not have achieved it’s independence,bhora mugedhi

  • comment-avatar

    Govt delaying tactics as they totally broke