The Civil Servants and Allied Workers Union of Zambia (CSAWUZ) will not fail workers during negotiations for 2013 salary increment and improved conditions of service negotiations going on.
Union president Davis Chiyobe told the Daily Nation that the discussions were rough but that their demand of 67 per cent salary increment and other conditions of service was under serious negotiations.
The union is demanding for 67 salary increment and improved conditions of service among other things of which government wanted the negotiations to begin October this year.
Mr. Chiyobe said that his union would not want to disappoint the workers by failing to secure or settle for decent wages for the workers who were already distressed by low wages and poor conditions of service currently prevailing in the nation.
He said that Zambian workers were expectant of the outcome of the ongoing negotiations especially that there had been a lot of pronouncements by government of its commitment to improve the living standard of the workers.
Mr. Chiyobe said that his union was hopeful that all stakeholders in the negotiation process would commit themselves to ensure that the bargaining process ended by March 31 to ease the tension among workers.
“We agreed to extend the expiry date for our negotiations to month end of March because it is a legal requirement to do so to have a reference about what you are bargaining for. You cannot bargain without the process we took as a union. Our interest is the workers who are too expectant of the outcome and we don’t want to fail them. These negotiations are tough my brother, they are rough because we have put on our table several demands and we are waiting to hear from government and this time it is being done in a good way because instead of breaking for weeks before we can resume the negotiation, we have been here for ten days negotiating. We are talking and as I said our interest is workers, our members’ interests,” he said.
Mr. Chiyobe said that it was not a question of agreeing on what stakeholders such as government wanted to offer but the interest of the workers were paramount to attaining sustainable, productive and decent workers.
He said that they were serious discussing with government and no amount of intimidation would stop them from representing the workers.
Mr. Chiyobe has since appealed to worker throughout the country to remain calm as the union had continued with negotiations with government, adding that they would continue demanding 67 per cent salary increment and improved conditions of service for sustainable economic development.
The Union demands a salary or wage increment of 67 per cent across the board for Civil Servants in salary scales GSS08 to GSS15; and Civil Servants in salary scales MS04 to MS11.
“This is to ensure that the basic pay is not less than ZMK 3,500,000.00 (Living Wage) for the lowest paid employee. The union further demands an improvement of existing conditions of service as follows: Housing Allowance, the Union notes that Government reintroduced Housing Allowance at 20 percent of an officers’ basic salary. The Union observes that the current Housing Allowance rates are below the reigning market rates for decent and adequate housing. Figure shows that medium density accommodation prices have increased from K800, 000 in 2008 to K1, 500,000 in 2010, yet workers were still getting less than K400,000,” the 2013 demands for salary increment and improved conditions of service document stated in part.