Divisions rock Apex Council

Divisions have rocked the Apex Council with the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) yesterday boycotting a feedback meeting following deliberations between representatives of Government workers and the employer.

The Apex Council is a body comprising of 15 trade unions representing civil servants from across Government departments and only nine sit in the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC), a platform that negotiates conditions of service for Government employees.

PTUZ secretary-general Mr Raymond Majongwe confirmed that they did not attend a feedback meeting saying they had lost confidence in the body. But Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) president Mr Richard Gundani said there was need for members to remain focussed.

“The issues that PTUZ are raising have always been raised. We should be able to find a way that is acceptable so that we have a strong body that will not be challenged. It is important that we speak with one voice. There are these small things that end up dividing workers,” said Mr Gundani.

“At the moment we have no choice because Apex Council and NJNC are the legal body that provides a platform for bargaining.”

Mr Gundani said there was need to strengthen the NJNC and Apex council and constitute into a Civil Service Council that would create a strong platform for negotiations and ensure resolutions were binding.

“What we are doing are more of consultations, we need a Civil Service Council that will make decisions, but at the moment the NJNC is what we have as the only body to discuss our concerns,” said Mr Gundani.

The NJNC held a meeting on Tuesday about conditions of service before the parties agreed to return to their constituency to make further consultations.

This was after the Apex Council felt that the offer from Government was lower than what they expected.

This came as some civil servants started receiving cushioning allowances this week. Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza said an agreement would be reached by end of this week.