THE Government will tomorrow convene a crunch meeting with the Apex Council to deliberate on the civil servants remuneration with a new offer on the table which will put to an end the tug of war, which has been going on since April.
Tomorrow’s meeting will be the last to be convened by the two parties and if they fail to reach a consensus, according to the law, the negotiations will be deemed as a deadlock. Both Government and the civil servants have expressed confidence that the meeting will yield positive results and that some teachers who were threatening to down tools and had taken a lethargic approach to go to work ahead of full-scale school opening next week will rethink their action.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima told Sunday News that Government will bring a new offer to the table, expressing hope that the workers will accept it.
“The meeting with civil servants representatives will be held on Monday. Government has a new offer for the civil servants. We will discuss the new offer in the meeting. Unfortunately, I can’t pre-empt the offer before the meeting. While we are meeting civil servants representatives, we are urging teachers to report for duty rather than withholding the service.
“They should not hold Government to ransom. They can report for work while we finish the negotiations. The Second Republic is a listening Government,” he said.
Apex Council chairperson Mrs Cecilia Alexander said tomorrow’s meeting will be the third and final meeting between Government and the civil servants representatives. Mrs Alexander said they were hopeful that the meeting will yield positive results failure of which would be a stalemate.
“The meeting with Government has been scheduled for Monday. Legally this will be the last meeting between Government and civil servants regarding this matter. We hope that we will reach an agreement. If we do not, it means we would have reached a deadlock and we can’t negotiate any further. These are the provisions of the law. We are not privy to what Government is bringing to the table on Monday. We will be updating you on the outcome of the meeting. We have been having the negotiations since April and the Monday meeting will be our last,” she said.
The Government recently effected a 40 percent cost-of-living salary adjustment for civil servants which they started receiving last month while negotiations continue with unions representing civil servants over a final agreement on wages and other employment benefits.
The adjustment was in addition to the continuation of the US$75 a month Covid-19 allowance which are among interim steps taken by the Government to help cushion its employees while the negotiations are in progress.