Civil Servants Give Govt Ultimatum

The public workers’ umbrella representative body, the Public Service Association has already sent a circular to its members advising them of the intended job action.

The association indicated that it is giving the government up to the end of this month to increase their allowances from US$100 and announce substantial salary rates, failure of which it would embark on a national industrial action.

PSA president Cecilia Alexander Kowa issued the circular after a meeting with the Minister of Public Service Eliphas Mukonoweshuro earlier this month.

The association said the government should act as soon as it gets funding.

“The PSA leadership has met with the members in Harare who have resolved to give Government time up until the July pay sheet to improve on salaries and conditions of service, therefore the intended job action has been put on hold until early July 2009.

“We have agreed that as soon as Government gets some funds it will improve on the US$100 allowance. If there is no improvement then, the members promise to take action,” said Kowa in the circular.

Mukonoweshuro this week confirmed that he had met with PSA leaders and urged them to be patient while the government tries to source funding.

“I appreciate that there is need to review the allowances and the ministry would not waste time to act on the issue if resources come to our disposal. At the moment the situation is challenging because the government has not been able to get funds.

“The civil service is among the priorities of the government’s financial needs and I urge our workers to be patient. We are working tirelessly to ensure that their demands are met,” said Mukonoweshuro.

The shaky coalition government has been canvassing for financial aid from across the globe to take the ailing economy back on its feet, but the efforts have not been very fruitful.

Civil servants were promised an urgent review of their allowances at the birth of the unity government but nothing has materialized four months down the line.