By Desmond Chingarande
THE Apex Council yesterday resolved that civil servants would not report for work if the government fails to adjust their salaries when the parties meet on Friday.
Addressing journalists after a meeting in Harare, Apex Council vice-secretary Gibson Mushangu said their strategy would be determined by the outcome of their meeting with government.
“We have resolved that no pay increase, no work. Our members have remained incapacitated and the government is not doing anything in terms of our demands,” he said.
“We had requested a cushion in December for our members to have something on Christmas and New Year holidays, but the government gave us cold shoulders.”
“We cannot pre-empt the strategy we are going to take and the outcome of that Friday meeting will determine the way forward. Prices have been surging everyday, but our salary remained stagnant. We cannot go back to work as most of our members are still on holiday,” the Apex Council member said.
“We have been negotiating with the government for the better part of last year and this is one of the items we are discussing on Friday. We do not need to knock at government’s door every time. We need a solution and that solution is to rate our salaries to the US dollar we used to get against the equivalent rate.”
The government has been pushing forward dates for civil servants’ salary negotiations. Teachers unions have been accusing the Apex Council of going to bed with the government, saying they were not representing civil servants, but serving the interests of the employer.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe spokesperson Takavafira Zhou said they had no faith in Apex’s firefighting methods, saying it “pacifies and dupes” civil servants.
“We have no faith in (its) methods. We are, however, ready to work with progressive affiliates of Apex. We will never accept leadership of an industrial action led by Apex because they are sponsored by the government and we know it’s part of their continuous romance with government,” he said.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure concurred with Zhou, saying the Apex Council ceased to represent the suffering workers, but were now representing the government.
“The Apex Council is an illegal entity which was also fraudulently constituted. The grouping has traditionally chosen to go to bed with the employer,” he said.
“We have faith in some individuals at the Council. We hope they will be able to push for progressive resolutions.”
Teachers have already resolved not to report for work on the schools opening day next Tuesday.