The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has condemned the recent press proclamation by the Government of Zimbabwe that placed the Civil Service Commission (CSC) under the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC).
The teachers’ union said the move undermines principles of good public administration as set out in the constitution and added that the process is designed to capture and militarise the Public Service as part of a broad and calculated move to control public sector workers.
“By placing the CSC under the office of the President, the Mnangagwa regime is effectively seeking ways to directly spy on public sector unions and thus undermine collective bargaining principles and militarise negotiation processes.
“The ideal scenario is to allow the CSC to be a stand alone commission independent from direct control of government. In this way workers and their employer can freely engage on improving working conditions and salaries for public sector employees,” ARTUZ said.
The independent teachers’ representative body said the recent move has no basis either at law or in the best interest of the workers.
“Examples of countries with the best public service practices like Canada show that government has minimal intervention. Closer home, the Botswana model is proof that when there is minimal government involvement, decent work in the public workplace can be a reality.
ARTUZ is however aware that the attempts at controlling the CSC emanates from the commandist mentality of the Mnangagwa regime. It also comes at a time that ARTUZ and other public sector unions have declared that in 2018 the fight for a living wage will be escalated, along with fights against the opaque 7.5% pension contributions and cancellation of vacation leave.
“As a union we are consulting with our legal teams and membership to craft a multi-pronged response to this manifestly illegal move by Mnangagwa’s government. We further reiterate our readiness to organise and democratise the public sector working place, more so in rural schools.”