FDD writes Chikwanda asks him to rescind decision on wage freeze

5th November, 2013
The Hon. Minister,
Ministry of Finance,
Dear Sir,
On behalf of the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) I write to your office asking your government to rescind its decision to impose a two-year wage freeze on Public Service Workers.
Your government’s decision to impose a two-year wage freeze in the Public Service without regard to the ever rising cost of living and the escalating prices of essential goods and services is insensitive and will further demotivate our civil servants who are already working under difficult conditions.
The unilateral stance which your government has taken in imposing the said wage freeze without the consultation and involvement of the Zambia National Congress of Trade Unions is a recipe for conflict and industrial unrest as the Labour Unions have already indicated that failure on your part as a government to rescind your decision might trigger industrial unrest.
Honorable , we find your  explanation that the wage freeze has been  imposed in order to harmonize the imbalances in the wage structures in the public service both implausible and unconvincing because you do not need  to impose a two year wage  freeze in order to harmonize the purported salary imbalances.
We further find your sentiments that the wage freeze will not affect the civil servants who, according to you have received 100% salary increments inaccurate and unmerited because the bulk of our civil servants did not receive the said 100% salary increment.  With regard to this, we are asking your office to furnish us with the following information:
1.      Which Civil Servants got 100% salary increments and what percentage of the total workforce in the Civil Service do they represent?
2.      What percentage in terms of salary increments did the Nurses, Midwives, Doctors, Teachers, The Army, The Air Force, The Police, The National Service and Lecturers receive?
3.      What is the relevance of the on going negotiation for Salaries and conditions of service between your government and the Labour Unions when you have already   imposed the wage freeze?
For the sake of progress and indeed for the sake of fairness to our hardworking civil servants, we urge your government through you to rescind the decision to effect the two year wage freeze and instead use the collective bargaining process to find a lasting solution to the challenges facing the civil servants.
It is our prayer that you will take the contents of our letter with the seriousness they deserve.
Yours in national service,