Tuesday, 15 January 2019

WE ARE NOT PART OF SHUT DOWN : CIVIL SERVANTS

CIVIL servants have said they are not part of criminal elements and opposition forces who went around a few cities, mainly Harare and Bulawayo, intimidating people to stay away from work yesterday.


Apex Council chair Mrs Cecelia Alexander said their grievances were purely a labour issue and would be resolved through normal channels.

“We are not part of things which we don’t know how, why and where they were organised,” she said. “Our issue with Government is purely a labour issue and we are not part of those elements. We have not done any activity this week and suspended all activities because we cannot mix them with what is going on.”

She said they had given Government a 14-day strike notice which was yet to lapse. 

“If you don’t see our workers going to work, it will be a result of incapacity because of the transport cost,” Mrs Alexander said. “We hope Government will address their plight before the lapse of the strike notice.”

Apex Council secretary Mr David Dzatsunga weighed in: “We have not suspended dialogue with Government and we expect to have another engagement this week. We have resolved to keep pressuring Government to restore the value of our salaries to before the October price madness.”

Opposition elements sponsored by non-governmental organisations, held violent demonstrations yesterday, intimidating people to stay away from their workplaces.

The criminals circulated messages on social media threatening to harm anyone who did not heed their call. In their messages, they threatened to burn fuel stations, rob banks, loot shops, stone vehicles and kill people going about their business. 

Government and its workers are still in salary negotiations and last week the employer offered its workers a 10 percent salary increment beginning next April.

The workers rejected the offer, saying they wanted to first consult their membership. The workers are demanding a $1 733 salary for the least paid employee, up from $414 inclusive of allowances, which would represent an increase of 419 percent.

Government’s latest offer, if taken, would have led to an additional $160 million to its wage bill by December.

This would fly in the face of austerity measures which the Government is implementing to reduce the national budget deficit and advance President Mnangagwa’s vision to turn Zimbabwe into an upper middle income economy by 2030. Herald

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