State university staff declare incapacitation

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ZIMBABWE State Universities Staff Associations on Wednesday blasted Higher and Tertiary Education ministry for displaying disinterest in cushioning workers from increases in the price of goods and services.

The state universities staff association said they were with immediate effect notifying government of their inability to continue reporting for duty due to lack of money.

The state employees are demanding a review of their salaries in line with the prevailing inter-bank exchange rate.

In a statement relating to the ongoing salaries and cost of living adjustment (COLA) outcomes that have been underway since March, the university employees expressed misgivings at the attitude of Higher and Tertiary Education minister Amon Murwira, falling short of describing it as deplorable.

Higher and Tertiary Education minister Murwira took the blunt end of the communique, with the universities staff association lambasting his inaction.

“The Honourable minister was not willing to meet State universities’ staff association representatives as usual. (Rather), he preferred to summon one member to his office and indicated (to him) that government was working on conditions of service for university workers,” the communique read.

The communique was issued by the 10 combined State universities association – among them the University of Zimbabwe, Great Zimbabwe University, Zimbabwe Open University, Midlands State University, the National University of Science and Technology.

According to the letter, Murwira’s body language smacked of disinterest and lethargy in the entire salaries and COLA negotiation processes.

“He showed disinterest in the issues brought to him. (Murwira) reiterated that State university workers must exercise patience, trust and collegiality or pack their goods (and leave),” further read the statement.

In their closing remarks and on behalf of all State universities employees, the association said their next move was to declare incapacitation and accordingly withdraw their labour with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, the Apex council is currently in similar salaries and COLA negotiating processes as the universities staff associations.

State workers’ are currently at loggerheads with Government over Zimbabwe dollar earnings which have since been eroded by rising inflation.

Civil servants are calling for an industrial action demanding a minimum salary of US$500.

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