Civil servants quit unfruitful talks with government; to proceed with the industrial action Tuesday

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By Thandiwe Garusa

CIVIL servants have abandoned salary negotiations at the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) after two years of fruitless meetings.

Civil servants have been demanding at least US$840 for the lowest paid worker.

They have planned an industrial action starting Tuesday the 14th of July.

In a letter written to the minister of public service, labour and social welfare, the Federation of Zimbabwe Educators Union (FOZEU) said they are quitting with immediate effect and will go ahead with the planned strike.

“In this regard, honourable minister, workers through their representatives as they fall under the banner of APEX Council do hereby notify you of their withdrawal from the NJNC and the Health Service Bipartite Negotiating Forum (BNP) forum with immediate effect.

“The same labour force would also want to bring to your attention that all the labour unions under the auspices of their federations are in unison with the observations and standing position that they will abide by the 14th day nationwide industrial action submitted to your office on the 4th of July 2022,” the letter reads.

The civil servants claim they had a series of meetings with the government for the past two years which saw a lot of disagreements being reached and ending inconclusively.

They are also saying the government does not timeously call for NJNC meetings as per agreements reached in previous meetings and takes too long to implement some of the agreed conditions.

“The current negotiating forum does not uphold labour constitutional rights as enshrined in the national constitution section 65(1) which calls for collective bargaining. Further to that, statutory you need to understand that statutory Instrument 141/97 under which we have been convening has since been superseded by section 65 of the current constitution and is therefore illegal,” reads the letter.