Fresh divisions rock civil servants

APEX civil servants

FRESH divisions have rocked civil servants after the Apex Council leadership decided to transform the government workers organisation to the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Service Trade Unions (ZCPTU).

According to a ZCPTU statement, the objective of the federation is to build a united worker movement in the country.

Some of the objectives of the federation include: “To strengthen cooperation and collaboration between public-sector unions in the country, to strengthen the struggle of workers in the public sector across the nation, to promote good governance of public sector unions in Zimbabwe.”

The new ZCPTU leadership comprises president Cecilia Alexander, vice president Thomas Muzondo, secretary-general David Dzatsunga, deputy secretary-general Gibson Mushangu, treasurer George Mushipe, organising secretary Charles Chinosengwa and secretary for women affairs Emelda Mhuriro.

“We transformed into a confederation since Apex Council was not a registered labour centre. We had an election with 15 unions,” Chinosengwa said.

“As unions under the new labour centre, we are very happy and all the 15 unions are in support of this new labour centre. As Zimbabwe National Educators’ Union, we are in support of it hoping the transformation will give us mileage as civil servants. It is very difficult to be represented by people who are not civil servants or with no background of how we operate, ” he added.

However, some civil servants yesterday blasted the ZCPTU leadership, saying they formed the federation without consulting other unions.

“That federation is a disaster, let’s not lie to each other. lf the same employer, who is opposed to allowing you to form a sector-specific federation, allows you to create this one, you must count your teeth after talking to him.

“It’s unprecedented as it is scandalous and shocking to any serious labour activist. There is a notion that there are people who excluded themselves from Apex,” Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said.

“God forbid. Apex is not a church. Apex is an animal created by law. We are in Apex even if you decide to exclude us from its proceedings. The law doesn’t give anyone the right to cherry pick who becomes a member.”
He also said some union leaders were seeking favours from the government.

“It is not a lie that at several platforms there have been discussions where people have pledged allegiance and loyalty leaving us to wonder how an National Joint Negotiating Council process degenerates to such mediocrity.

Collective bargaining must be left to remain what it should be. It’s not surprising that at no time has the issue of Convention 151 and Convention 154 been brought up for discussion anywhere. If people want to be honest this idea of a federation and it benefits or otherwise should have been discussed with membership and the decision can’t be made by nine people,” added Majongwe.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president Obert Masaraure said the federation represents a small section of civil servants.

“The new confederation is a whole new outfit which should be home to those who voluntarily join. The confederation should desist from claiming that they represent all public sector workers. The transition from Statutory Instrument 141 of 1997 to a new legal order in line with Section 65 of our Constitution will be inclusively managed.

“The power hungry and greedy individuals who have been letting workers down will not be allowed to illegally impose themselves as the legitimate voice of the public sector workers. We are having a meeting with our lawyers to explore ways of ensuring that we transit into a genuine collective bargaining model free of government manipulation,” he said.

Source – dailynews

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