Minister of Local government and housing, Emerine Kabanshi has told journalists at a media briefing that according to an update on the strike by council workers, it has come to her ministry’s attention that only twenty one councils had workers withdraw their labour as of Friday 4th October due to nonpayment of two months salaries for August and September 2013.
Ms Kabanshi notes that the strike action was unnecessary and illegal stating that there was no dispute declared between the employer and employees.
She has therefore urged council workers in the twenty one councils to go back to work noting that failure to resume work will be met by severe action from government.
Ms. Kabanshi states that government has also provided funds for payment of two months salaries to all sixty eight new officers on first appointment employed by the local government service commission and posted to various councils in the country.
She has further warned councils to effect payments of salaries on harmonized salaries and conditions of service stressing that the ministry is aware that some councils have deliberately chosen not to pay the harmonized salaries as approved by government which she says will not be condone .
Ms Kabanshi further states that government has commissioned a countrywide audit of the harmonized salaries and conditions of service from August 2012 to September 2013.
She has further assured local government employees that the negotiations for increased salaries and conditions of service are on course and has appealed to all council workers in the country to remain calm and give government enough time to conclude the salary negotiations.