The crunch meeting between government and civil servants ended in a deadlock yesterday after the workers rejected what they referred to as a “measly offer by an ungrateful employer”..

Government had called for the meeting after the civil servants informed its employer they would engage in a “full-scale” industrial action if their demand for cost of living adjustments (COLA) was not address within seven days.

However, ahead Friday’s meeting, the government threatened to withhold the salaries for any employee who did not report for work.

The strike threats come at time when schools are set for reopening for the 2021 year next Monday.

In response, to the government’s threats “intimidatory statement issued Public Service Commission secretary Jonathan Wutawunashe, the workers’ representatives had threatened to boycott Friday’s meeting.

However, they later resolved to attend.

Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU), spokesperson David Dzatsunga told the meeting had ended with no agreement and they would consult members on the way forward.

There is nothing to bring back home to you our constituency. The government’s offer does not even whisper to our demands which we have been tabling since we started negotiations post the dollarised era of October 2018,” he said.

In today’s (Friday) meeting, the government tabled a derisory offer of 25% with effect from 01 April 2021 against the 151% offered accorded to other sectors,” Dzatsunga said.

“Fellow comrades, as we are all aware that we had threatened to pull out of the meeting due to the intimidatory presser which was released by the Public Service Commission on the eve of today’s meeting, after some engagements, a way forward was mapped and the meeting took place,” he said.

For grade B1, civil servants are expected to get $16 752 up from $14 642 while C1 grade the workers are expected to get $17 659 up from $17 659. Civil servants in the Grade E5 category will get $33 647 from $28 168.

After the presentation colleagues, the offer was totally rejected. The council had an argument based on adherence to the November 2020 agreement which speaks to the crafting of the roadmap to restoration of October 2018 salaries. It therefore denotes that any offer to be tabled should be a result of the roadmap that is when we are to reach our target of 2018 October salaries.”

To this end comrades, the meeting ended with an impasse. We therefore stand guided by you on how best to treat this scenario,” he added.

This week, the civil servants grouping petitioned the government over the erosion of government workers’ salaries and gave notice of a nationwide “full-blown” strike starting next week.

Credit: New Zimbabwe

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