BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
CIVIL servants say they will not be intimidated by government’s decision to invoke the no-pay, no-work policy and vowed to continue pressing for better working conditions.
Public Service Commission secretary Jonathan Wutawunashe on Friday announced that the Salary Service Bureau (SSB) will pay workers in accordance with their attendance at work.
He said heads of government departments will submit attendance registers to the SSB with those absent from duty being removed from the payroll.
Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions secretary-general David Dzatsunga said they were not consulted about the new policy that will have serious repercussions for civil servants.
Dzatsunga said the government was ignoring the need to engage its workers and address their concerns.
“This is an unexpected and unfortunate reaction to the incapacitated civil servants,” he said.
“Government is intimidating the civil servants, rather than engaging them.
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“Of late, we have noted unilateralism by the government on issues affecting workers.
“The public service should go back to the rules of engagement. It is not proper to impose policies unilaterally when there are established institutions to represent the workers.”
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions secretary general, Japhet Moyo urged the government to respect workers’ rights.
“Where workers are engaging in sanctioned protests, they should receive their salaries and not be threatened,” Moyo said.
Zimbabwe Nurses Association president Enock Dongo said they would not allow government to impose unfavourable policies on them.
“The no work no pay policy is a clear indication that government is not concerned about the welfare of its workers,” Dongo said.
“Workers do not intentionally abscond from work, but they are forced by the circumstances.
“In this case, poor wages are forcing civil servants to abscond duty.
“Where there are issues of concern among civil servants, government has always blamed the workers for the discontent, which is not the way they should address the issues.”
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe leader, Masaraure described the government’s decision as “an empty thereat” vowing teachers will continue demanding better wages.
“The teachers are not bothered by the threats of no pay president no work,” Masaraure said.
“Deducting a portion from the peanuts being earned by teachers will not substantially change anything. Government should focus on capacitating teachers to save our education.
“Meanwhile, teachers will remain at home waiting for government to play ball.”
Zimbabwe National Teachers’ Union chief executive officer Manuel Nyawo said the policy was likely to widen the rift between government and its workers, which was detrimental to the welfare of the general citizens.
“It is not time to be intimidated by individuals, who speak from the comfort of their offices and have nothing to lose.” Nyawo said.
“Such loose, reckless, damaging and toxic talk by a politically sensitive government will soon cost it and the repercussions will be too ghastly to contemplate.
“Government should instead address the no pay no work principle that we have adopted as workers.”