THE Civil Servants and Allied Workers Union of Zambia (CSAWUZ) has advised the government to work within the law when it comes to amending, terminating or replacing a collective agreement.
Union general secretary Makai Makai was reacting to the suspension of the debt swap scheme for civil servants as reported by the Zambia Daily Mail edition of today.
He stated that President Hakainde Hichilema informed the nation that his government would be a government of laws.
“It is for this reason that we are surprised that a programme emanating from a collective bargaining process that is provided for under the industrial and labour relation Act cap 269 of the Laws of Zambia can arbitrary be suspended by the government,” Makai stated.
He reminded the government that the law provides that where a party is desirous of amending, terminating or replacing a collective agreement that party shall give ninety (90) days notice, in writing, to the other party of the proposed amendment, termination or replacement, stating the reasons thereof.
“It further provides that either party may, at any time during the operation of the collective agreement, by notice, in writing, request the other party to open negotiations aimed at reviewing the collective agreement, or any part thereof,” he stated.
Makai said it was important to understand that the debt swap scheme was contained in the addendum to the 2021 collective agreement and it was binding to both the government and the public service unions that signed it.
“We therefore appeal to the government, which is the government of laws to work within the provisions of the law when it comes to amending, terminating or replacing a collective agreement,” said Makai.