SESTUZ dispels wage freeze assertions
Lusaka,February,29.ZANIS—The Secondary School Teachers Union of Zambia(SESTUZ) has dispelled assertions that government has imposed a wage freeze on civil servants.
SESTUZ General Secretary Wamuyuwa Sitibekiso says contrary to the assertions, SESTUZ and other Unions are currently engaged in serious negotiations with government over revision of working conditions for civil servants.
Mr. Sitibekiso said the negotiations are going smoothly adding that no deadlock has been reached.
He said it was untrue that government was going to put up a wage freeze, as being rumoured by sections of society.
He urged the SESTUZ members to remain calm and ignore the wage freeze rumour being spread by social media.
According to a named On-line news paper, President Michael Sata and his PF government has imposed a wage freeze for all civil servants and government related institutions from this year till further notice.
Sources close to the on-going negotiations taking place in Siavonga for increased salaries and conditions of service for civil servants said the cabinet office team that is representing Mr. Sata said they are not going to move until they get fresh instructions to adjust salaries this year.
Sources said the national wage bill has just become to huge to sustain under the PF government that has an unprecedented large cabinet and deputy ministers in many ministries.
Meanwhile, SESTUZ has commended government on its plan to recruit retired teachers to cushion the current shortage of teachers being experienced countrywide.
He described the move as progressive, saying teachers have for a long time now been overloaded, in some instances with one teacher having up to 38 periods in one week.
Mr. Sitibekiso however urged government to improve working conditions for teachers in rural areas to avoid rural- urban migration of teachers which has caused a serious shortage of teachers in rural schools.
Today’s local media reports say that government will recruit retired teachers to cushion the shortage of staff in the country.