Civil servants threaten strike


Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa

GOVERNMENT workers have threatened to down their tools today (Tuesday) after government failed to reverse its decision to delay payment of their June salaries by at least two weeks.

In a statement, the Apex Council, the umbrella union for civil servants, said it had consulted their membership on the way forward, adding there was a unanimous agreement that the government workers would go on strike if government fails to adhere to traditional salary payment dates.

“After consultations from our members at a meeting held the 2nd of July 2016 at PSA house, we the APEX council and the Health Apex Council pronounce that owing to incapacitation by government’s failure to pay our June salaries on time we pronounce that our members will not be able to attend duty as from Tuesday 5th of July until the impasses has been resolved,” reads the statement.

A survey by The Financial Gazette today revealed that some teachers did not attend lessons today. Most school have advised their students not to attend school tomorrow.

Government has over the last five years spent an unsustainable 80 percent of its budget on salaries and wages thereby crowding out capital projects.

The situation is likely to worsen this year, with reports suggesting that revenue is dwindling due to a worsening economic situation characterised by a liquidity crunch that has been abetted by an increasing trade deficit.

Last month a joint press statement by the ministries of Finance and Economic Development and that of Labour, Public Service and Social Welfare, government said it had no capacity to pay its workers on regular dates because of thinning revenue streams.

It said the situation was worsened by the payment of bonuses to the majority of civil servants.

After the statement government workers boycotted a meeting which had been called for by Labour Minister, Prisca Mupfumira and Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa.

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