Government and workers are now at a standstill over the demonstration slated for today with civil servants failing to offer a response to their employer over the called tripartite negotiating forum.
Information Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, yesterday told journalists during a cabinet briefing that the government requested the Apex council the provide 3 nominees to attend a tripartite negotiation forum technical committee workshop in Kadoma from the 10th to the 15th of November 2019.
“In response, the workers just advised the meeting that they had heard the government’s position and gave no explanation on the next move,” Mutsvangwa said.
“The government team discouraged the Apex Council from embarking on the demonstration for sixth of November and the workers again refused to respond.”
The Minister said the government does not dispute the need to give a cost of living adjustment to workers but was faced with various competing national demands which include payment of annual bonuses that will take a significant portion of resources.
The other priority is the need to support the Presidential input support scheme by providing vulnerable households with agricultural inputs.
“The government was also subsidising on transport through ZUPCO and the recent purchase of 50 in additional public service buses,” Mutsvangwa explained.
“The budget cycle was coming to an end and that was difficult to get additional resources from the current budget and therefore review in the cost of living was certainly going to happen in 2020.”
The tripartite workshop is aimed at bringing social partners to a common position.
“This may result in the freeze of incomes and prices,” Mutsvangwa commented on the Tripartite meeting.
Government critics have however attacked the current administration for misplaced priorities making reference to the recent purchase of vehicles for Members of Parliament whilst failing to pay civil servants, with doctors being on industrial action putting lives of patients at risk.
Workers are plotting an industrial action against salaries which are being eroded by the current rising costs of living.