Council workers bemoan poor conditions of service

UNIONIZED workers at the Lusaka City Council (LCC) have complained about lack of government support over the protracted salary negotiations and the poor conditions of service affecting the local authority workers.

Zambia United Local Authority Workers Union (ZULAWU) LCC branch chairman Alfred Zulu said at a briefing in Lusaka yesterday that the council workers have endured untold suffering as a result of lack of progress on the collective agreement on salaries and condition of services for local authorities.

“The last time we (council workers) had a salary increment was in 2011, and this has made most of the council staff destitute.

“ It is common knowledge that during this period, the prices of fuel, electricity, rent, transport and indeed prices of all other essential commodities have been increased,” Mr Zulu said.

He said since the 2012 harmonisation of salaries, the council was on an imposed three year wage freeze due to delayed negotiations, and appealed to the Minister of Local Government and Housing Emmanuel Chenda to intervene. And ZULAWU LCC branch secretary David Nyirenda said some deserving council workers have not been confirmed despite having worked for much longer than the prescribed time, while new employees have received confirmation and even promotion despite being less qualified and experienced for their positions.

“The other dilemma facing the council workers today is the non-responsiveness of the Local Government Service Commission to the concerns and recommendations reported to them by stakeholders on the calibre of some directors they bring to manage the affairs of the Great City of Lusaka and staff matters,” he said.

He said it was about time deserving employees received due recognition from the commission, charging that the town clerk needed a vibrant team of experienced personnel to adequately manage affairs for the city. Mr Nyirenda who was flanked by the branch executive announced that council workers at Civic Centre have since resolved to holding Friday prayer meetings and fasting with solemn hymns until their plight is addressed.