ZIMBABWE’S civil servants resolved yesterday to go on strike for two days next week, warning that if their grievances are not resolved by September they will undertake a bigger and longer industrial action.

This comes despite last-minute attempts by authorities to engage government workers over the wage dispute, which has been rumbling on for a long time.

Cecilia Alexander, the leader of the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) — the umbrella body for all public sector unions — said they would hold their strike on Wednesday and Thursday next week.

The strike would include health services workers, as well as those from the education sector and the rest of the civil service.

“That the two-day work stoppage will be peremptory to a longer action in September, in the event that the employer does not meet our demands, we demand the restoration of the value of our wages to pre-October 2018 levels, to be paid in foreign currency and not in local currency with immediate effect,” Alexander said.

She added that they were also demanding that the government halts “the wave of suspensions, summary dismissals, illegal disallowances and victimisation of teachers and nurses for exercising their constitutional right to organise and to a fair and reasonable wage”.

“We demand the payment of a medical allowance to all civil servants without discrimination and the employer should desist from bashing union leadership for exercising their representative roles as messengers of their voiceless membership.

“The employer should speedily implement all collective agreements fully as in school fees payment for the children of educators, regrading and performance advancement,” Alexander added.

All this comes despite Public Service minister Paul Mavima re-affirming the government’s commitment on Thursday to improving the welfare of its workers.

“We will continue to engage them so that service delivery is not disrupted.

“We have said striking should not be considered as an option because it affects service delivery.
“So, we call upon civil servants to consider dialogue first,” Mavima said.

The declaration for a strike by the civil servants came after a meeting they held yesterday to discuss a way forward, after the 14-day notice they had given the government to resolve their salary grievances expired. – Daily News