PUBLIC Service minister Prisca Mupfumira has come under fire for claiming the majority of civil servants want residential stands in lieu of 2016 bonuses.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
In a stinging statement yesterday, the Apex Council secretary-general, David Dzatsunga, said the civil service umbrella union would soon seek audience with President Robert Mugabe over the issue.
“The Apex Council is dismayed by statements attributed to the Public Service minister (Mupfumira) purporting that most workers are for residential stands, but are being let down by their union leaders,” he said.
Dzatsunga accused Mupfumira of violating the Constitution.
“The minister, in her anti-union pronouncements, is unfairly attacking union leaders, who enjoy the mandate of their membership and is in violation of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and International Labour Organisation conventions. The so-called survey by the Civil Service Commission is null and void since the minister, in her statements, already concludes that the majority of workers prefer stands in lieu of bonuses,” the civil servants’ body said.
“Workers are already waiting for their cash bonuses. The manner in which the so-called survey was being conducted is a negation of our role as unions, making the February 27 meeting a prejudged process. The stands-for-bonuses issue is pie in the sky, as there is no formula according to which the government will be able to avail stands for every civil servant in the short run.
“The Apex Council would like to advise its members that our self-initiated housing scheme has no relation whatsoever to the bonus issue. In the event that the cash bonus remains in contention, the Apex Council will be left with no choice, but to seek audience with President Mugabe, who has been consistent in his defence of the workers’ rights to a bonus.”
The government last month proposed to give workers residential stands in lieu of their 2016 bonuses, but this was rejected.
Mupfumira, this week, claimed her office has been inundated with requests for stands by civil servants.
“Many civil servants have been approaching our offices saying they need residential stands as soon as yesterday and considering that a huge chunk of workers are not unionised, we decided to carry out a survey through the Civil Service Commission,” she reportedly said, adding a survey was underway.
The Apex Council represents all government workers.