ZCTU outbursts sadden Govt

LABOUR and Social Security Minister Fackson Shamenda has advised the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) not to politicise the 2014 salary negotiations.
Mr Shamenda appealed to the ZCTU leaders to approach relevant authorities if they felt aggrieved with issues surrounding salary negotiations rather than rushing to the media.
He said in Lusaka yesterday that he was disappointed with the accusation by the Congress that Government was delaying the salary negotiations for 2014, and that it had extended the collective agreement without giving reasons.
ZCTU secretary general Roy Mwaba on Monday expressed concern with the delayed commencement of negotiations for conditions of service between Government and the public service unions.
Mr Mwaba said Government had asked for an extension to the commencement of negotiations without giving an explanation for the decision taken.
But Mr Shamenda said it was unfortunate that ZCTU had decided to politicise the matter.
“It is disappointing for ZCTU to make such an accusation and rush to the Press when they know the relevant authorities to approach on issues of procedures concerning salary negotiations,” he said.
He said the extension of the collective agreement was normal and that whenever such a decision was made, it was normally done with the consent of the parties involved.
“Even in the private companies the collective agreements could be extended, it does not just happen between Government and the public service unions alone. This is a very normal trend in the bargaining process,” Mr Shamenda said.
He said Government had declared 2014 a labour dispute-free year and was was optimistic that the salary negotiations between the Government and public service unions would commence soon in line with the negotiation procedures