The Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) has given government two weeks to conclude vetting deserving civil servants for promotion or face unspecified action.
In an interview on Wednesday, CSTU secretary general Madalitso Njolomole said the union’s patience is wearing thin as workers have waited for long to be promoted.
He said that the Government Negotiating Team (GNT) and CSTU agreed in April this year that the processes of vetting civil servants deserving promotion should begin and be followed with the release of the list of promoted workers.
Njolomole said about nine months have passed, but government is not showing commitment on the matter. He said the situation is worsened by the fact that teachers and police officers were promoted in the run up to the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
He said: “We agreed with the Government Negotiating Team as well as the Office of the President and Cabinet that we have to implement the promotion exercise to civil servants who have stayed on the same grade for more than six years.
“Let me warn those in authority on behalf of the civil servants that time is not on our side. We have to do things fast, we have to move with time.”
In a separate interview, GNT chairperson Bright Kumwembe yesterday appealed for patience from the workers, saying that the vetting process is cumbersome.
He said: “It’s a continuous process, I can’t say it will be completed tomorrow or the next day. Whatever is being vetted is being put aside pending finalisation.”
Kumwembe agreed with CSTU that government approved the vetting process to avoid promoting retired or are deceased workers.
Department of Human Resource Management and Development Principal Secretary Hillary Chimota said he was aware of the discussions with CSTU, but was surprised with the latest demands and accused them of lacking honesty.
Njolomole, who accused the GNT of skirting around the issue, said there are between 3 000 and 4 000 civil servants in the mainstream civil service awaiting promotion.
Earlier this year, government promoted 20 210 teachers and 7 000 police officers.
In April, the CSTU issued a statement in reaction to the development calling for promotions of all civil servants who worked for over 10 years and those who upgraded their qualifications.