Civil Servants Cautions Of Strike In The New Year

The civil servants representatives on December 1, 2011 wrote to the chairperson of the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) Nelson Sambureni requesting that the government urgently convene collective bargaining meetings for 2012 salaries and allowances review.

Tendai  Chikowore, the chairperson of the civil service APEX Council, which represents all civil servants except the police and army, said in her letter to Sambureni the issue was of paramount importance.

In the letter, Chikowore stated APEX’s desire to have all negotiations concluded by the end of this month; an ultimatum analysts said the government is likely to miss as it is technically broke despite a
trickle of revenue from the proceeds of diamond sales from Marange Diamond fields.

“This letter is a request for collective bargaining meetings to resume urgently. This follows the presentation of the National Budget by the Finance Minister,” reads part of Chikowore’s letter to Sambureni.

“We propose that in the next three days, parties exchange position papers for purpose of study and seeking fresh mandates. We believe this way we can assess each other’s needs and explore the best
alternatives.

“It is Apex’s desire that negotiations be concluded by the end of December 2011, hence the urgent need to convene first meeting as early as possible,” said Chikowore.

However, civil servants’ representatives say about 96% of public sector workers earn below the Poverty Datum Line (PDL) now estimated at US$540, a situation they say demonstrates the level of poverty in
government ranks.

Members of the APEX council include the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, the Public Service Association, the Teachers Union of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Teachers Union.