Govt., CSAWUZ sign new collective agreement

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Government and the Civil Servants and Allied Workers Union of Zambia (CSAWUZ) have signed a new collective agreement for improved salaries and conditions of service for public service workers with the lowest paid worker getting a 200 percent increment.

The negotiations, which took about one month, were concluded today.

The new agreement has shown varying increment percentages for public service workers with the lowest paid worker pocketing KR2, 900 from K950.

This development beats the current food basket for the Central Statistics Office (CSO) for a family of six which stands at KR2, 896

Speaking at a briefing to conclude the negotiations, CSAWUZ president Davy Chiyobe said transport and housing allowances will be maintained at the existing rates between 10 and 20 percent of the basic salary respectively.

Mr. Chiyobe said the effective date for these increments is September 1, 2013 during which stakeholders will make appeals in the implementation of the job evaluation and regarding exercise.

He said the collective agreement will run for five months and thereafter negotiations for 2014 will commence.

The at the same occasion, Public Service Management Division (PSMD) Permanent Secretary Velepi Mtonga said government and the union have also agreed to implement the Public Service Medical and Funeral Insurance Schemes and the Public Service Credit Union by June 2013.

Dr. Mtonga said the negotiations were premised on seven principles to cover remunerations based on the integrated competitive total remuneration strategy for the period 2012 to 2021.

She named some of the principles as equal pay for equal work, graded increase over a 10 year period as opposed to across the board increases, maintenance of housing and transport allowance for the purpose of managing pay roll and conditions of service.

Dr. Mtonga explained that government and the union agreed to implement the results of the job evaluation and regarding exercise in the public service as it addresses the principle of equal pay for equal work.

The PS further explained that the public service has had no job evaluation system as the current job grading is based on an outdated job grading system.

Dr. Mtonga said this has resulted into piecemeal approaches to resolving inequalities in the current pay structures leading to distortions in the pay structure.