Civil servants mull another strike

HARARE - Restive civil servants have hinted they could stage a crippling strike at the end of the month after getting disillusioned by government’s staggering of their salaries.

Cecilia Alexander, president of the civil servants’ representative group, the Apex Council, told the Daily News  that government workers were apoplectic over the development.

“We feel that government is taking our members especially those in the education sector for granted. Having paid our salaries late in the past few months without us complaining, it seems government now thinks they can continue like that but they are mistaken,” Alexander said.

“We will not tolerate that and next week we are planning to hold an emergency meeting with the employer to communicate our position.

“We noticed that they adjusted pay dates for other civil servants by two days while those for the education sector remained unchanged but we are not sure what criteria they use to determine the pay dates.

“We wonder if they are taking for granted the education sector and the rest of the civil service because it’s only the health and security sectors that they are going to be paid on time,” she added.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has expressed fear that teachers will once again have to endure Christmas without pay if they do not confront government early.

In a statement yesterday PTUZ said there was need to “remind the president (Robert Mugabe) that the economy needs his attention as well”.

It also called on the Apex Council to “rise to the occasion and selflessly represent the constituency and not flinch and inch”.

“Comrades, the August pay dates are out but the sad part is that as long as this trend is allowed to continue, we will get our December salaries in January 2017…we wait for your advice but we, however, are convinced that if the energy being exhibited by Zanu PF politicians in their factional fights was to be the same they would show in addressing the challenges, this country would not be in the position we are in today,” said the statement.

According to the pay schedule released by government on Friday, the military will get their salaries on the 23rd of this month while the health sector will be paid on the 26th.  Police and the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services will be paid on the 30th of August.

However, teachers and the rest of civil servants as well as pensioners who include war veterans will get their salaries on the 2nd, 5th, and 9th September.

Last month, teachers, nurses and doctors went on strike after the government also failed to pay them on time.

The situation has raised fears that continued failure to pay its workers on time, particularly soldiers, could spark serious disturbances, including exacerbating the situation that has seen a wave of protests sweeping across the country in recent months.

In the meantime, Mugabe and under pressure Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa continue to blame targeted sanctions  for the salary delays, much against both available evidence and public sentiment.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.