GOVERNMENT business could grind to a complete halt next week if government fails to meet the demands made by civil service as the wheels of governance continue to come off on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration.
BY Nkululeko Sibanda
Representatives of the workers – through the Apex Council – and government are set to meet again this week to deliberate on the demands.
The meeting came as government has already indicated that the fiscal space and environment obtaining in the country did not permit it to increase the civil servants’ salaries without further hurting the economy.
In an interview yesterday, Apex Council secretary David Dzatsunga said a full blown strike could be the only avenue by which to force government to review its position.
Dzatsunga said workers were not worried that government had indicated its inability to meet their demands, but said it was government’s duty to find resources to meet their demands.
“We have no option, but to embark on a full-scale strike in the event that the talks that we have been asked to sit in this week fail to yield the desired results,” he said.
Dzatsunga added that the strike was inevitable as they would not accept any offers that would insult their membership. The workers are demanding a $1 700 salary for the lowest paid civil servant and $3 000 for the highest paid worker.
Government on Monday indicated that it would unveil its salary offer to the representatives of the workers at the next meeting likely to be held today.
“As workers, we are yet to be told that which government says is a package for our members. They have not even told us as the representatives of the workers. All that has been kept under wraps.
Public Service Commission chairperson, Vincent Hungwe said the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) meeting will address issues to enhance the capacity of government workers to effectively discharge their duties.
In a statement, Hungwe said government will announce an integrated cost of living adjustment and the NJNC will meet not later than tomorrow to discuss the issue.
He said the meeting will adopt a common position on the need to integrate a programmatic approach in determining monetary and non-monetary benefits of civil servants in future.
“(Meeting) will agree on a roadmap to roll-out the establishment of a Public Service Pension Scheme based on a funded and defined benefit modality that is guaranteed by government to protect contributors,” Hungwe said.