By Kudzanai Gerede
Civil servants will not be intimidated by threats from the government to unleash the no-work, no-pay principle on workers who do not report for duty, senior official of the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU)- a civil servants representative body has said.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Cain Mathema yesterday warned striking teachers over their continuous absence from work and directed school authorities to submit names of teachers who have not been reporting for duty since the reopening of schools last month for punishment.
In response, ZCPSTU deputy secretary-general, Gibson Mushangu told 263Chat that threats were not going to solve the current crisis with civil servants.
“We always say that threats do no work. The government should desist from intimidation and address the issues at hand. It’s not like what the civil servants are raising is an artificial issue or they have a choice, it simply a clear indicator that they are incapacitated to go to work,” said ZCPSTU in an interview.
This follows reports that most teachers, mainly in Harare and Bulawayo have not been reporting for duty since schools reopened citing incapacitation.
Civil servants want their salaries to be reviewed from the current ZWL$ 20 000 per month, equivalent to US$200 to US$ 500 in line with the increase in the cost of living.
“There is nothing they can do if they are to act within the lines of the tripartite negotiation spirit. They can threaten to take the little that they are already paying us but it will not change that civil servants are incapacitated,”
“The ball is in their 16th yard area where we are not allowed to enter, so it’s up to them to fix things in their court not the other way round. We have given them our grievances; they know them so they should just act on them. In fact government should be engaging us to negotiate a better offer rather than issue threats, “added Mushangu.
Government has previously indicated that it would address the grievances of the workers as it is currently hamstrung by efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the workers are not amused since the remuneration gridlock has dragged for over three years now, way before the pandemic started.
Numerous rounds of discussions between the worker representatives and the government have failed to yield a permanent solution.