By Munyaradzi Musiiwa
The Government will tomorrow convene a meeting with its technical team and experts to deliberate on civil servants’ salaries ahead of a crunch meeting with the workers representatives after failing to reach an agreement on the initial meeting at the beginning of the month.
Civil servants allegedly rejected an offer from Government and teachers are contemplating declaring incapacitation and last week threatened to reduce their weekly working hours to three days. Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima said Government was committed to increasing civil servants’ salaries once the two parties find common ground.
Prof Mavima said Government had initially proposed a 70 percent salary increment but there have been adjustments as a result of the ongoing negotiations with the National Joint Negotiation Council (NJNC).
“There were discussions between civil servants representatives and Government representatives during which they failed to agree. So what we are doing is that the Government team will continue to consult technical people on the proposals and outcomes of the discussions. Government technical team will meet on Monday to deliberate on the issues to see if there are variations and also if there are adjustments to be made. We still have another round of negotiations with the civil servants,” he said.
Prof Mavima said it was premature for civil servants to declare incapacitation while the negotiations are still ongoing.
“We want the civil servants to give the technical team a chance and also the negotiations a chance before they start talking about declaring incapacitation. Before we declare complete impasse and go into arbitration, they need to give room for the technical team to do their work and also give negotiations a chance. Government had proposed three reviews this year which is the one now, the other one in June and the other one later in the year,” he said.
Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) recently wrote to the Public Service Commission (PSC) declaring incapacitation and threatening to reduce working hours to two days a week starting this week.
In a letter addressed to the PSC chairperson, Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe, ZCPSTU president Ms Cecelia Alexander said all civil servants will, starting on 12 April report for duty twice a week.
“Following an offer of 25 percent of one’s current earnings which the Government brought on the negotiating table in the previous National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) meeting set to be effected on 01 April 2021, which proved to be incapable of addressing civil servants’ capacity to execute their duties, ZCPSTU representing all member unions do here by notify your august office that all civil servants will, starting on 12 April 2021, report for duty twice a week,” she said. The Sunday News