Serious divisions have emerged among civil servant unions following a move by the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association and former Apex Council chairperson Tendai Chikowore seeking government recognition to spearhead salary negotiations with government representatives.
Chikowore last week wrote to Public Service Minister Lucia Matibenga requesting permission to lead negotiations on behalf of government employees.
This follows Matibenga’s decision to snub the current Apex Council leadership after some unions disputed elections that saw David Dzatsunga and his colleagues ushered into office.
The Apex Council represents all of Zimbabwe's public sector unions.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association Chief Executive Sifiso Ndlovu told VOA Studio 7 that his association came up with the decision to try and revive stalled salary negotiations with the government and that all the unions agreed when they were consulted.
But Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou said they never endorsed that idea adding that Chikowore had no mandate to represent civil servants.
Current Apex Council chairman David Dzatsunga said Chikowore was meant to lead the salary negotiations for three months only if all unions agreed.
The Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) says teachers should form their own council to negotiate salaries on behalf of educators.
Addressing about 100 teachers in Chinhoyi at a belated ZIMTA provincial annual general meeting at the weekend in Chinhoyi, a member of the organization’s national council, Johnson Madhuku, said ZIMTA is now advocating for a breakaway educators council because the currently Apex Council doesn't address serious issues faced by teachers.
Madhuku said the Apex Council has failed to meet the needs of teachers, especially in negotiating for a living wage and improved conditions of service.