Address price ‘madness’- civil servants tell gvt

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Harare(New Ziana) – The civil servants representative body, the Apex Council on Wednesday urged government to intervene in the on-going price increases of basic commodities, which have eroded the public’s purchasing power.

Addressing the media, Apex council treasurer George Mushipe said there was pricing madness in the retail sector, with prices of commodities going up on a daily basis.

“We want to take this opportunity to advise government to ensure that the madness currently obtaining in the business sector be brought to book. Because for example how do you justify a price of ZWL$120 for a kilogramme of beef? That’s madness!”

“So we are saying we need a holistic approach to the whole thing,” he said.

Mushipe said government, business and labour should come up with ways to address the issues.

“Look at the weekly obscene fuel price increases yet the salary of the worker is remaining static. We do not want to have anarchy in this country but rather policy measures that are commensurate with what is obtaining, particularly to the life of the civil servants that we represent.

“Government and business and us as labour, must be sincere with one another, so that the life of a worker, particularly that of a civil servant has a meaningful impact on their family and the nation at large,” he said.

He said civil servants demand that their salaries be pegged in United States Dollars but paid in local currency indexed to the inter-bank rate.

“The issue is not so much about a figure but whether a principle that would ensure that the civil servant is able to meet their economic needs in a month’s cycle.

“There is no better way than looking at what we were earning on October 2018 and that it’s indexed to the prevailing inter-bank rate. Anything else will not adequately address the plea by civil servants,” he said.

Apex co-chairperson Thomas Muzondo said Wednesday’s meeting resolved that all the 14 Apex council member unions consult with their members to decide on a course of action to be taken.

“Having written to government to convene an urgent NJNC meeting on or before the 9th of October 2019; having received no response of any kind by the 9th of October from government, recognising the urgent need for capacitation of workers given the rapidly deteriorating economic situation.

“We resolved that a feedback meeting for the Apex council be convened on Friday 11 October 2019 to consolidate the union positions with a view towards a collective action,” he said.

The Apex Council wrote to government last week, demanding that a National Joint Negotiating Council meeting be held by October 9, 2019 to discuss the need to cushion its members against the rising cost of living.

According to Apex Council, government ignored the workers.

New Ziana

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