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PSI

BRIEF COUNTRY REVIEWS OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

RESEARCH REPORT
ZIMBABWE

SECOND DRAFT
ACRIMONIES ................................................................................................................................................... 3

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .................................................................................................................................... 4

1. GENERAL INDICATORS OF THE ECONOMY ................................................................................................. 11

1.1 DYSFUNCTIONAL LABOUR MARKETS & PARALYSIS IN COLLECTIVE BARGAINING .................................... 11

1.2 POPULATION AND LABOUR FORCE STRUCTURE AND CHARACTERISTICS ................................................. 11

1.3 DISTRIBUTION OF WORKFORCE BY SECTOR ............................................................................................. 13

1.4 UN- AND UNDER-EMPLOYMENT ............................................................................................................. 13

2. NATIONAL LEGISLATION AND RATIFICATION OF ILO CONVENTIONS ......................................................... 15

3. SOCIAL SECURITY SCHEMES IN ZIMBABWE ................................................................................................ 16

3.1 OLD AGE, DISABILITY, AND SURVIVORS ................................................................................................... 16

3.2 PERMANENT DISABILITY BENEFITS .......................................................................................................... 17

3.3 SICKNESS AND MATERNITY ..................................................................................................................... 17

3.4 WORK INJURY.......................................................................................................................................... 18

4. AFFILIATE MEMBER COLLECTIVE BARGAINING PROFILE ............................................................................ 21

4.1 PUBLIC SERVICE ASSOCIATION (PSA) ....................................................................................................... 21

4.2 ZIMBABWE NURSES’ ASSOCIATION (ZINA) .............................................................................................. 24

4.3 ZIMBABWE RURAL DISTRICT COUNCILS WORKERS’ UNION (ZRDCWU) ................................................... 27

4.4 ZIMBABWE URBAN COUNCILS WORKERS’ UNION (ZUCWU) ................................................................... 29

5. CHALLENGES FACED BY AFFILIATES IN COLLECTIVE BARGAINING .............................................................. 33

6. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR STRENGTHENING UNIONS IN (AND THROUGH) COLLECTIVE BARGAINING ..... 34

7. SUMMARY................................................................................................................................................. 36

BIBLIOGRAPHY .............................................................................................................................................. 37
ACRIMONIES

AIDS Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

CBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreements

CCZ Consumer Council of Zimbabwe

CSO Central Statistical Office

FPL Food Poverty Line

GDP Gross Domestic Product

HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus

ILO International Labour Organisation

NEC National Employment Council

NSSA National Social Security Authority

PDL Poverty Datum Line

PSA Public Service Association

SI Statutory Instrument

ZCTU Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions

ZINA Zimbabwe Nurses Association

ZRDCWU Zimbabwe Rural District Council Worker’ Union

ZUCWU Zimbabwe Urban Council Worker’ Union


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This is a baseline study of collective bargaining in the public service in Zimbabwe. The survey is
commissioned by the Public Service International (PSI), to evaluate the status of collective bargaining
among it affiliates in Zimbabwe. The intended uses of the findings are to serve as a resource for a
planning and strategy development of collective bargaining capacities of the Public Service
International (PSI) affiliates in Zimbabwe.

Following along this line, the main objective of the survey was to create baseline data readily
accessible to all PSI affiliates to aid strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation. More specifically,
the survey’s objectives were:
 To analyse the context of collective bargaining including an overview of institutional
arrangements and the legislative environment with a specific focus on trade union rights in
relation to organising and bargaining in the public service in Zimbabwe;
 To assess the trade union density in the public service in Zimbabwe, including a breakdown
of existing membership and leadership by gender;
 To benchmark public service wages levels against inflation and living level measures;
 To establish conditions of employment in relation to hours of work, health, security, family
responsibility and HIV/AIDS;
 To assess the extent of member participation in collective bargaining processes.

Collective Bargaining in Zimbabwe

1. Labour Legislation
In the pre-independence era, the formal sector had different labour acts governing work relations.
The Industrial Conciliation Act covered workers in the private sector, while those in the public sector
were under the Public Service Act and Local Authorities were governed by the Urban Council’s Act.

Today, the collective bargaining governance is still fragmented in that there is the Labour Relations
Act, the Public Service Act, the Urban Council Act and the Rural District Councils Act.

Collective Bargaining in the Public Service: The public service is governed by two statutes namely
the Public Service Act Chapter 16:04 and the Health Services Act Chapter 15:16. The latter governs
employees in the health sector. The other group of public service workers is governed by the
constitution and these include judges. There is no collective bargaining in the entire public sector.
The law only recognizes consultations between employee associations and the Public Service
Commission as the employer. These consultations are recognized through the establishment of a
forum called the Public Service Joint Negotiating Council. This was established through the Public
Service (Public Service Joint Negotiating Council) Regulations, 1997, Statutory Instrument (SI) 141/97
and the Health Service (Health Service Bipartite Negotiating Panel) Regulations, 2006, SI 111/2006.
However, after the consultations, the employer is not bound by the decisions reached and can
implement what it believes to be fair disregarding the other parties’ view or submissions.
Consultations are also provided under section 24 (1) of the Public Service Act.

Collective Bargaining in the Local Authorities: The local authorities are also governed by two
instruments, thus the Urban Councils’ Act Chapter 29:15 and the Rural District Council’s Act.
Whereas the urban councils have their own act, the act’s provisions apply to senior personnel and
the rest are covered by the provision of the Labour Relations Act. For the Rural District Councils SI
144 of 2007, gives the union the right to negotiate on behalf of all non-managerial employees.
2 Trade union membership and density

As a result of the current crisis, and in particular collapsing living and working conditions in
Zimbabwe, millions of the working people have emigrated abroad as part of the brain drain. A study
by Government (SIRDC, 2004) covered 532,609 of the estimated 4 million Zimbabweans who are out
of the country. In terms of profession, 26% were teachers, 25% doctors, nurses and pharmacists,
23% engineers and other scientists, 17% accountants, 5% farmers, 2% bankers and 1% each were
clergy and others.

PSA and ZINA were most affected by brain drain, as member went abroad to greener pastures. The
coming in of the inclusive government saw the return of some of the civil servants, but these did not
rejoin or join the union because of the fact that the union is not yet accorded the platform to
negotiate and the Minister of Finance is in control of the salary levels for civil servants. Also due to
financial constraints the unions are not able to service the members.

The scenario has been different in the municipalities, were ZUCWU has been able to embark of an
extensive recruitment exercise through the help of the ZCTU. The union has a total 21 branches out
of 28 branches, an increase from 5 branches. Over a two year period membership for ZRDCWU has
been constant1. Table 1 below summaries the profile of current membership and union density for
PSI Affiliates in Zimbabwe.

Table 1: Membership profile and union density of PSI Affiliates in Zimbabwe, June 2010
Name Actual members Potential Estimated Union
membership density (%)

PSA 5,926 60,0002 9.8%


ZINA 4,500 17,000 26.4%
ZRDCWU 5,500 7,000 78.6%
ZUCWU 7,300 10,000 73%
Total 23,226 94,000 24,7%
Source: PSI Affiliates and ZCTU

3 Wage Outcomes
In general the wage levels in Zimbabwe have been relatively very low compared to other regional
states, the wage levels in the public sector have been the lowest in the country. Since the
dollarization of the economy there has been no significant salary increase except in the Rural District
Councils. The following are the percentage increases in wage levels since dollarization:
 Urban Council – 0%;
 Civil Service – 1.7%;
 Health Service – 6.7%; and
 Rural District Council – 34.8%.
These increase come against increases in the consumer price index which rose from the 90.4 point
(June 2009) to the 95.2 point (June 2010) representing an annual rate of inflation of 5.3% between
the month of June 2009 and June 2010.

1
According to data from ZCTU on declared membership.
2
Please note that the potential membership for PSA and ZINA is the government indicated sum total of all civil servants,
which includes workers that have left the country and ghost workers, no audit of the current personnel in the civil service,
has been made.
A Living Wage

A living wage is a wage that enables an employee to meet his basic needs (physiological needs and
security needs), i.e. accommodation, food, transport, health, communication, clothing & footwear
and education. A good and objective proxy for a living wage in Zimbabwe is the Poverty Datum Line
(PDL), which is calculated by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). The PDL refers to the minimum
income for a low-income average family of 6, which is necessary to meet their basic human
requirements per month. International the poverty level is calculated as anything below the US$2.00
per day which calculates to US$360.00 per month for a family of six.

Table 1 below shows the current status of the collective bargaining scenario in public sector of
Zimbabwe. Although there have been evidence of wage increases in three out of four of the affiliate,
these increases have not managed to pull the workers out of poverty. As shown in the table below,
the sector with the highest wage increase, the Rural District Council is earning 31.12% of the Poverty
Datum Line (PDL) and 84.56% of the Food Poverty Line (FPL).

Table 1: Current Minimum Wage against the Poverty Datum Line (PDL) and the Food Poverty Line
(FPL) (June 2010)
All Affiliates
Affiliate PSA ZINA ZRDCWU ZUCWU (average)

Affiliate Minimum (US$) 122.00 176.00 155.00 150.00 150.75

CSO PDL (US$) 482.00 482.00 482.00 482.00 482.00

CSO FPL (US$) 177.38 177.38 177.38 177.38 177.38


Minimum wage/PDL (%) 25.31 36.51 32.16 31.12 31.28
Minimum wage/FPL (%) 68.78 99.22 87.38 84.56 84.99
Source: Central Statistical Office (CSO), Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) and PSI Affiliates.

It is obvious that workers have been living in dehumanising abject poverty and squalor as their
wages, have generally failed to keep pace with not only the Poverty Datum Line (PDL) but also the
Food Poverty Line (FPL). Zimbabwean public sector workers are living in abject poverty. This has led
most workers resorting in undertaking survival (coping) strategies involving multiple jobbing,
moonlighting, and shirking among others.

The figure below depicts the trends in minimum wage for the public and private sector against the
poverty datum line and the food poverty live.
Figure 1: Trends in Minimum Wage for the Public and Private Sector against the Poverty Datum
Line and the Food Poverty Line

Source: PSI Affiliates, CSO and CCZ

4. Conditions of Employment

Most of the conditions of employment in the public service of Zimbabwe are derived from the
Labour Relations Act. This is because all labour legislation is derived from the Act, and any deviations
from it should be an improvement. While this is said the deviations in the public sector have not
been an improvement, this is why the government then enacted statutory instruments to cover the
public sector.

Working hours
Currently the collective bargaining agreement stipulate an eight hour working day (40hours per
week).

Annual Leave Entitlement


On average workers in the public sector should be given 12 days special leave for various reasons
and 30 days annual leave entitlement.

Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave and Benefits


Maternity leave conditions for women workers include; full pay during the three months maternity
leave and one hour daily breaks for breast feeding for three months or when the child stops breast
feeding, whichever is sooner.
Paternity leave is not covered by the collective bargaining agreements.

Health
Most employers in the public sector contribute towards the medical aid schemes for their workers
except the Rural District Councils.
As stated by the Labour Relations Act, during any one-year period of service of an employee an
employer shall, at the request of the employee supported by a certificate signed by a registered
medical practitioner, grant up to ninety days’ sick leave on full pay. If, during any one-year period of
service of an employee, the employee has used up the maximum period of sick leave on full pay, an
employer shall, at the request of the employee supported by a certificate signed by a registered
medical practitioner, grant a further period of up to ninety days’ sick leave on half pay where, in the
opinion of the registered medical practitioner signing the certificate, it is probable that the
employee will be able to resume duty after such further period of sick leave.

Family Responsibility
As there are no clear days allocated to family responsibility, one has to use the 12 days special leave
in case of a family emergency.

Job Security
The public service offers the most secure jobs in Zimbabwe. Most public service appointments are
on permanent and pensionable basis. The minute one is offered a letter of appointment all the
relevant provisions of employment are accorded to the individual.

Social Security

Workers in the all sectors are covered under schemes by the National Social Security Authority
(NSSA). In addition to the schemes, some sectors have their sectorial pension schemes.

HIV/AIDS
Most of the PSI affiliates in Zimbabwe are in the process of coming up with their sectorial HIV and
AIDS policy.

5. Member participation in collective bargaining

In terms of member participation in collective bargaining, all affiliates reported that they involve
members mainly in pre-negotiations and post-negotiation stages. The members are consultated
through the affiliates’ branches, which then feeds into the national executives. It is through the
national executive that the negotiation team derives its mandate and issues for negotiation.

The following table depicts the number of males and females that make up the negotiating teams
for the affiliates.

Table 2: Gender Dimensions of the Negotiating Teams of Affiliates

Affiliate Males Females Total


PSA 7 2 9
ZINA 1 1 2
ZRDCWU 6 4 10
ZUCWU 5 5
Source: PSI Affiliates (Zimbabwe)

5. Challenges to Collective Bargaining

Fragmentation of Labour Legislation


The fact that there is no one single labour legislation is a source of major worry. It is because of the
fragmented nature of the labour legislation in Zimbabwe that disadvantages workers in the public
sector and takes away their right to actively participate in collective bargaining.

Besides the right to collective bargaining not being there, the platform for collective bargaining are
also not there. The negotiating platforms are the National Employment Councils (NECs).
Lack of recognition or representation
In the municipality sector this is not a problem but this is a major problem in the public sector as PSA
and ZINA are not viewed as unions who need their full rights as worker’s organisation and have the
right to actively participate in collective bargaining.

Lack of capacity of Trade Unions


Many unions were challenged by lose of trained manpower such as shop-stewards, educators,
organisers, paralegals, negotiators and other activists due to loss of jobs caused by the economic
and political environment meltdown and HIV and AIDS.

Violation of workers basic rights


This has been explicitly experienced by all trade unions in Zimbabwe especially the right to strike as a
bargaining tool.

Lack of Financial Capacity


The lack of funding has affected recruitment and organising of members for most of the affiliates.
The affiliates have not been able to carry out educational programmes which were not only to
capacitate and services member but are also tools of recruitment and organising the workers. The
lack of finance has also affected in meeting the operational costs of running and maintaining the
institutions as well as employing staff at the union offices.

Lack of mandate
Members of the negotiating team (from the government) don’t have the mandate to negotiate on
behalf of the government as the Minister has the final say, but are sent to negotiate on behalf of the
government. This reinforces the fact that the negotiations in the public sector are not negotiations
but mere consultations.

Government interferences
The Minister of Finance has no many occasions announced a wage freeze for all civil servants, at one
instant calling the increase of the wage level a crime. At the same time the Minister of Industry and
Commerce came out in the newspaper hinting that arbitrators needed to be retrained as they were
awarding relatively high awards3. The Minister of Local Government has also tried to push for a wage
freeze for senior employees in the municipalities, this automatically meaning that all wages in the
sector will be frozen.

Other challenges faced in collective bargaining include:


 Lack of good faith between parties especially employer and Government;
 High unemployment rate;
 Lack of conducive political, economic and social environment; and
 Repressive and unsupportive legislation.
6. Conclusions and Recommendations

Zimbabwean legislation recognises the right to engage in collective bargaining. This is done at both
enterprise level through works councils and at industrial level through the auspices of employment
councils. However, this right does not apply to public service employees who are covered by the
Public Service Act Chapter 16:04 and the Heath Services Act Chapter 15:16. Public service legislation
only recognises consultations with the employer having a final say in the consultations.

On the other hand, collective bargaining without the recognition of full right to strike is useless as
this tend to tilt the bargaining power to the employers. International law supports this argument.

3
One has to note that these awards were below the Poverty Datum Line (PDL)
ILO convention on freedom of association embodies the right to strike which is inseparable from the
convention on collective bargaining. Zimbabwe legislation needs to be reformed in this area and
afford a balance to the negotiating parties. Collective bargaining and the right to strike is also
protected by the following international instruments: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Covenant on Social and Economic Rights, the African
Charter on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Social Rights in the SADC.

The Legal Framework Needs Changes

There is need to push for the harmonisation of the labour laws in Zimbabwe, current efforts by the
ZCTU should be supported by all unions. In the event of the labour laws being harmonised the public
sector will also be accorded the full right to collective bargaining, thereby empowering the unions.
This will also improve the conditions of service for most of the workers at a national set standard is
prescribe in the Labour Relation Act.

The scratching-out of the Statutory Instruments used in the public sector will ensure that any
deviations for the set national benchmarks are and will be only improvements of the standards.

Training and Re-training of Collective Bargaining

There is need to train and retrain personnel by the unions, due to the brain drain unions lost most of
their trained cadres. The training of the following persons; educators, organisers, paralegals,
negotiators and other activists, will not only capacitate the unions in collective bargaining but also in
the recruitment of new members.

Recruitment

The bargaining power of the union relies on the number of members the union commands. It is
therefore imperative that affiliates need to embark on an aggressive recruitment drive. Workplace
based meeting and study circles can be used to recruit and inform workers on the advantage of
joining trade unions.
1. General Indicators of the Economy

1.1 Dysfunctional Labour Markets & Paralysis in Collective Bargaining

The year 2008 witnessed a virtual collapse of the economy and in this setting, collective bargaining
became meaningless. The situation became desperate as basic commodities and essential services
were not available locally. In some sectors (agriculture and agro-industries), a labour shortage
emerged as farm-workers sought alternative sources of livelihood especially in the informal
economy.

The public sector was also affected as civil servants stayed at home as their salaries could not take
them to work. With the introduction of the multi-currency regime at the end of January 2009 and
the inception of the Inclusive Government, the economy began to show signs of life. The
introduction of the allowance of US$100 in February 2009 saw civil servants returning to work.
These allowances were reviewed in August 2009 to an average salary of US$150.

As a result, hospitals that had closed or scaled down operations re-opened, with the bed occupancy
at Harare Hospital rising from 180 patients in March to 576 patients by May 2009. Vacancy rates in
the education sector declined from 60% to 35% by mid-June 2009 (see Mid-Term Fiscal Policy, July
2009).

However, the public sector salary bill was high: of the US$257.2 million expenditures during the first
half of 2009, 60.8% went to employment costs and only 18% to operational costs; capital
expenditures at only 4.2%. Government salary bill represents 35% of total expenditures & 13% of
GDP, yet the best international practice ratios are 30% & 8%: the consumption focus of the budget
remains. Meanwhile, by the end of 2009, the minimum wage in the private sector, was as low as
US$32 in agriculture, with the highest paying a minimum equivalent to the PDL.

Owing to the improved environment, there was a crisis of expectations, similar to that which was
witnessed at the advent of independence in 1980. As a result, deadlocks were frequent, resulting in
arbitrations, which spilled into 2010. Where agreement was reached, applications for exemption
were huge. This suggests a crisis exists in the collective bargaining arena, an issue this paper seeks to
disentangle.

1.2 Population and Labour Force Structure and Characteristics

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) of 2004 estimated the population at 10.8 million, compared to 11.6
million in the 2002 Population Census and 12 million in the 1999 Labour Force Survey (LFS).
According to the Central Statistical Office (CSO) (2006), the discrepancy between the 2004 and 2002
population figures is due to the fact that the 2004 Labour Force Survey (LFS) excluded out-migrants,
visitors and students in boarding schools (the de jure method), which were included in the 2002
census (the de facto method), and the later was also a total count as opposed to the estimated
figure in the LFS. In addition, the LFS estimated the population in private households while the
census included private and institutional households. Comparing the 2002 population to that of
1992 (10.4 million) gives an average inter-censal growth rate of 1.2%. This indicates a decline in the
annual average rate of population growth compared to the 3.9% recorded during the inter-censal
period 1982-92, which in part reflects the impact of the HIV / AIDS pandemic during the latter period
1992-2002. The World Bank, World Development Indicators (2010), estimates that in 2008 the
Zimbabwean population was around 12.46 million.
Figure 2: Labour Force Framework based on the 2004 Labour Force Survey (LFS)

Total Population
10 815 618

Population Below 15 Population Age 15 Years


Years and Above
4 317 084 6 498 534
(39.92%) (60.08%)

Economically Inactive Not Economically Active


829 049 Stated 5 664 924
(12.76%) 4 561 (87.17%)
(0.07%)

Students Home- Retired/Sick/t Unemployed Communal & Other


329 830 Makers oo old, others (broad) Resettlement Employed
(39.78%) 250 386 248 834 528 837 Workers 3 419 346
(30.20%) (30.01%) (9.34%) 1 716 741 (60.36%)
(30.30%)

Source: 2004 Labour Force Survey, CSO, March 2006.

The economically active population or labour force refers to all those who are available for the
production of goods and services for cash or in kind. This group includes paid employees, employers,
own account workers, unpaid family workers and the unemployed. Of the 6.5 million people aged 15
years and above in the 2004 LFS, 87% of these were economically active. The labour force
participation rates for males and females were 91% and 84% respectively, with an overall activity
rate of 87%. Labour force participation rates were higher for males than females for all age groups,
with the activity rate higher in rural than urban areas at 92% and 79% respectively. Out of the 5.7
million economically active people, 91% were employed; with the highest category being own
account workers in communal and resettlement farming at 30%, and 9% were broadly unemployed.
The highest percentage of the broadly unemployed at 18% were of age 20-24, followed by 15-19 and
25-29 age group at 12% each.

Twenty-seven percent of the male labour force were paid employees in permanent jobs, 6.7% were
unemployed and less than 1% were employers. Thirty-eight percent of the female labour force were
own account workers in communal and resettlement farming, very few were employers and 12%
were unemployed. In rural areas, the highest percentage of the economically active population were
communal and resettlement own account workers at 46%, followed by paid family workers at 31%.
In urban areas, 35% of the economically active population were permanent paid employees. The
disadvantaged position of females is reflected in that they represented only 29% of the 1,075,726
paid employees (permanent), 39.8% of the 401,907 paid employees (casual), 18% of the 15,444
employers, 62% of the 1,716,741 own account workers in communal and resettlement areas, 52.1%
of the 690,928 own account employees (other), 48.1% of the 1,233,302 unpaid family workers and
64.3% of the 528,837 broadly unemployed.

1.3 Distribution of Workforce by Sector


The distribution of the employed population in 2004 by industrial sector, presented in Table 3,
shows that sixty five percent of the employed were in agriculture, forestry and fishing followed by
manufacturing at 6 percent. According to the 1999 LFS agriculture, forestry and fishing accounted for
60 percent of the employed while 8 percent were in manufacturing. The increase of 5 percent for
agriculture, forestry and fishing could be attributed to the intensified land reform programme after
2000.

Table 3 Percent Currently Employed Population Age 15 Years and Above by Industrial Sector and Sex,
Zimbabwe 2004 LFS
Industry Sector Male Female Total
Agriculture, hunting and fishing 58.81 71.05 64.76
Mining and quarrying 2.97 0.52 1.78
Manufacturing 8.19 3.48 5.90
Construction 2.88 0.35 1.65
Distribution, restaurants and hotels 4.48 3.77 4.14
Transport and communication 3.69 0.37 2.07
Finance, insurance and real estate 1.21 0.66 0.95
Public Administration 3.65 0.85 2.29
Education services 2.47 2.83 2.64
Health 0.62 1.15 0.87
Private Domestic 1.18 3.58 2.35
Other 9.84 11.29 10.55
Not Stated 0.01 0.11 0.06
Total Percent 100 100 100
Total Number 2 639 250 2 496 837 5 136 087
Source: 2004 Labour Force Survey, CSO.

1.4 Un- and Under-Employment

Unemployment is measured using both its broad (passive) and strict (active) dimensions.4 According
to the broad definition, unemployment “…refers to the population age 15 years and above who
during the seven day reference period, did not work and had no job or business to go back to, but
who were available for work.” The strict (active) definition requires that those without a job and are
available for work actively look for work. In developing countries such as Zimbabwe, the broad
definition is more appropriate because of the limited methods of job search available, especially in
the rural areas, and the reality that with limited job opportunities, most job seekers are already
discouraged to look for work.

4
The measurement of unemployment using the broader definition started with the 2004 labour force survey
following recommendations of the 1998 User-Producer of Statistics symposium attended by stakeholders.
The CSO has also differentiated between rural and urban unemployment. This is particularly
important in that while unemployment openly manifests itself in urban areas, in rural settings it is
hidden and reflected in underemployment. The rate of unemployment also depends on the
reference period, the current (7 day reference period) or usual (12 month reference period). It also
varies by age group and gender. Furthermore, it has been shown that the levels are also influenced
by the period when the survey was undertaken. If the survey is taken during a good rainy season
(1994), the unemployment figures tend to be lower than during a dry spell (1992).
2. National Legislation and Ratification of ILO Conventions

The ILO core conventions form an important foundation upon which labour laws should be based.
Zimbabwe has now ratified all the eight core conventions. Below is a list of in total 26 International
Labour Conventions that Zimbabwe has ratified:

Convention
Number Title Date
C. 14 Weekly Rest (Industry) Convention, 1921 (No. 14) 06.06.1980
C. 19 Equality of Treatment (Accident Compensation) Convention, 1925 06.06.1980
(No. 19)
C. 26 Minimum Wage-Fixing Machinery Convention, 1928 (No. 26) 16.09.1993
C. 29 Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) 27.08.1998
C. 45 Underground Work (Women) Convention, 1935 (No. 45) 06.06.1980
C. 81 Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81) 16.09.1993
C. 87 Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise 09.04.2003
Convention, 1948 (No. 87)
C. 98 Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98) 27.08.1998
C. 99 Minimum Wage Fixing Machinery (Agriculture) Convention, 1951 (No. 99) 16.09.1993
C. 100 Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100) 14.12.1989
C. 105 Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105) 27.08.1998
C. 111 Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 23.06.1999
(No. 111)
C. 129 Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention, 1969 (No. 129) 16.09.1993
C. 135 Workers' Representatives Convention, 1971 (No. 135) 27.08.1998
C. 138 Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) (Minimum age specified: 14 06.06.2000
years )
C. 140 Paid Educational Leave Convention, 1974 (No. 140) 27.08.1998
C. 144 Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention, 1976 14.12.1989
(No. 144)
C. 150 Labour Administration Convention, 1978 (No. 150) 27.08.1998
C. 155 Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155) 09.04.2003
C. 159 Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) 27.08.1998
Convention, 1983 (No. 159)
C. 161 Occupational Health Services Convention, 1985 (No. 161) 09.04.2003
C. 162 Asbestos Convention, 1986 (No. 162) 09.04.2003
C. 170 Chemicals Convention, 1990 (No. 170) 27.08.1998
C. 174 Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents Convention, 1993 (No. 174) 09.04.2003
C. 176 Safety and Health in Mines Convention, 1995 (No. 176) 09.04.2003
C. 182 Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) 11.12.2000
NB: The ILO Core Conventions are in bold.
3. Social Security Schemes in Zimbabwe

3.1 Old Age, Disability, and Survivors

First Law: 1995


Current Laws: 1995, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2008.

Type of program: Social Insurance System


Note: Under the 1998 Social Welfare Assistance Act, limited public assistance is provided by the
Department of Social Welfare to destitute persons incapable of work and to persons aged 65 or
older or with a disability.

Coverage
All employed persons between ages 16 and 65 who are citizens or residents of Zimbabwe.

Exclusions: Self-employed persons and informal economy workers.

Sources of Funds:
Insured person: 3% of monthly earnings up to US$200 with effect from May 2010.
Self-employed person and informal economy workers: Not applicable.
Employer: 3% of monthly earnings of the employee up to US$200.00 with effect from May 2010
Government: None.

Qualifying Conditions:

Old-age pension: Age 60 (age 55 if in arduous employment) with at least 10 years of contribution.
Deferred pension: The pension may be deferred up to age 65.
Retirement grant: Paid if the insured does not meet the qualifying conditions for the pension and
has more than one year but less than 10 years of contribution.
Disability pension: The insured must be younger than age 60, assessed with a disability and a
permanent incapability for work by a medical doctor, and have at least one year of contribution.
Disability grant: The insured must be younger than age 60, assessed with a disability and a
permanent incapability for work by a medical doctor, and have at least six months of contribution.
Survivor benefit: Paid if the deceased was a pensioner or met the qualifying conditions for the old-
age or disability pension at the time of death.
Eligible survivors (in order of priority) are the widow(er), children younger than age 18 (age 25 if a
student, no limit if permanently disabled), parents and other dependents. If there is no widow(er),
dependent children are paid through the legal guardian.
Survivor grant: Paid if the insured met the qualifying conditions for the retirement grant or disability
grant. Eligible survivors (in order of priority) are the widow(er), children younger than age 18 (age 25
if a student, no limit if permanently disabled), parents and other dependents. If there is no
widow(er), dependent children are paid through the legal guardian.
Funeral grant: The deceased must have at least one year of contributions and the death must not be
work-related. The grant is paid to the person who paid for the funeral.
Old-Age Benefits

Old-age pension: The retirement pension is calculated by multiplying 1.33% by monthly insurable
earning at the date of retirement by the number of years contributed up to a maximum of 30 years.
Those who will have contributed for a period exceeding 30 years the formula is an additional 2.25%
of the amount derived in the above paragraph by the number of years in excess of 30 years.
Deferred pension: Calculated in the same way as the old-age pension.
The minimum monthly pension is U$25.00 (May 2010).

Retirement grant: The amount paid out for the retirement grant is calculated by multiplying 1/12 of
the annual insurable earnings immediately prior to retirement by the number of contributory years
including credits.
The minimum retirement grant is US$10.00 (May 2010).

3.2 Permanent Disability Benefits

Disability pension: The pension is equal to l% of the insured’s average annual covered earnings
when the disability began multiplied by the number of years of contributions up to 10 years. For a
contribution period exceeding 10 years, the pension is equal to 1.33% of monthly covered earnings
at the time the disability began multiplied by the number of years of contribution (including credited
periods) up to 30 years plus 1% of monthly covered earnings multiplied b y the number of years of
contributions exceeding 30 years.
The minimum monthly pension is US$10.00 (May 2010).

Disability grant: A lump sum is paid equal to 0.083% of the insured monthly covered earnings before
the disability began multiplied by then number of years of contributions (including credited periods).
The minimum disability grant is US$10.00 (May 2010).

Survivor Benefits

Survivor benefits: A monthly pension equal to 40% of the deceased's old-age or disability pension is
paid to a widow(er) and 40% to children up to age l8 (age 25 if a student, no age limit if permanently
disabled). In the absence of a surviving widow(er) or child, l2% is paid to the deceased's parents. In
the absence of a surviving parent, 8% is paid to other eligible dependents.

If there is more than one eligible widow, the benefit is split equally.

Survivor grant: A lump sum equal to 40% of the deceased's retirement or disability grant is paid to a
widow(er) and 40% to children up to age 18 (age 25 if a student, no age limit if permanently
disabled). In the absence of a surviving widow(er) or child, l2% is paid to the deceased's parents. In
the absence of a surviving parent, 8% is paid to other eligible dependents.

If there is more than one eligible widow, the benefit is split equally between them.

Funeral grant: A lump sum is paid, as determined by the General Manager of the National Social
Security Authority (NSSA). The amount for a funeral grant is US$200 (May 2010).

3.3 Sickness and Maternity

Regulatory Framework
The Labour Act provides for sick leave for employees up to 90 days on full pay. If, during any one-
year period of service of an employee, the employee has used up the maximum period of sick leave
on full pay, an employer shall, at the request of the employee supported by a certificate signed by a
registered medical practitioner, grant a further period of up to ninety days’ sick leave on half pay
where, in the opinion of the registered medical practitioner signing the certificate.
Subsection 4(b) simply states that after completion of sick period, the employer may terminate the
employment of the employee concerned. There are no cash benefits provided.
Health Services in Zimbabwe are provided by the following:
 Government through Rural Health Centers (primary level) District Hospitals (Secondary
level), Provincial Hospitals (tertiary level) and Central Hospitals (quaternary level);
 Municipalities and Rural District Councils - primary level clinics and Maternity Hospitals;
 Church Related – primary level mission clinics, also secondary level mission hospitals in
some areas;
 Private Sector – general practitioners, clinics, hospitals and specialist practices;
 Employers – mines and major industrial undertakings; and,
 Public Institutions - army hospitals.

Medical Treatment Orders (MTOs)


According to NSSA, an MTO refers to a fee waiver or voucher issued to indigent persons to facilitate
access to immediate and tertiary health care services such as a provincial or national hospital or
other specialist facilities. However, MTOs do not cover treatment at private health institutions.
Implementation of MTOs started in 1980 through the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social
Welfare. MTOs cover the following:
 Persons over sixty years of age
 Persons who are handicapped
 Persons who suffer continuous ill health
 Dependants of a person who is destitute or incapable to look after himself
 Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) are generally entitled to be issued with an MTO.
Community members alert the authorities to situations of OVCs requiring medical attention,
with extended family members applying for an MTO on behalf of the OVC.

However, the Ministry stopped providing block grants to clinics in 2000. In addition, the shortage of
drugs at referral hospitals has resulted in the collapse of the provision of the service.

Maternity Leave
A female is entitled to only three maternity leave periods per employer. The current leave days are
ninety days and she is entitled to full month’s salary and all other benefits and entitlements at work
during the maternity leave on condition that she has been employed for over one year. If the
employee requires more days than the legal ninety days, she will forfeit her salary as sick leave that
may not be granted during the paid maternity leave. After the maternity leave is over, the female
employee is allowed an hour a day of the normal working hours for breastfeeding / nursing. She may
combine this one hour with other breaks such as lunch and tea breaks. She is entitled to these
provisions for the period required to nurse the child or for six months, whichever is lesser.

3.4 Work Injury

Regulatory Framework
Current Laws: 1990, 1998 and 2008

Type of Programme: The Accident Prevention and Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fund (WCIF)
WCIF is the full responsibility of the employer. This fund caters for work-related injuries and hence
the main objective of the scheme is to remove from the employer the burden of looking after an
injured worker, both in terms of medical expenses and wages during periods of temporary lay-off.
Contribution premiums are based on industry risk assessed rates levied on the total wage bill up to a
ceiling on earnings (Chikova, 2008). However, workers in government and private domestic
employment are not covered by the fund.

The WCIF scheme pays out both short-term and long-term benefits. The short-term benefits include
periodical payments, which provide income where it has stopped due to work-related
accidents/injuries. The scheme also pays for all medical fees that include transport, drugs,
hospitalisation, and prosthesis. Currently, there is no ceiling on medical expenses. The long-term
benefits include employees’ pensions, dependants’ pensions and rehabilitation services.

Temporary Disability Benefits


The benefit is equal to 100% of monthly covered earnings for the first 30 days; thereafter, monthly
payments are equal to 51% of the monthly earnings. The benefit is paid up to 18 months.

Child’s supplement: the first child receives 12.5% of the insured benefits and 5% each for the second
to the fifth child. The amount paid for each subsequent child is determined by the General Manager
of NSSA.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Permanent Disability Pension: it is paid go a worker who is younger than 60 years of age. The
insured must have an assessed degree of disability greater than 30%. The pension amount must be
greater than US$15 a month to receive the pension. A lump sum is paid if the insured’s pension is
not greater than US$15 a month.

Constant Attendance Allowance: if assessed with a total disability and requiring the constant
attendance of others to perform daily functions, an allowance is paid for life.

Child’s supplement: the first child receives 12.5% of the insured benefits and 5% each for the second
to the fifth child. The amount paid for each subsequent child is determined by the General Manager
of NSSA.

Partial Disability: a lump sum is paid if the insured has an assessed degree of disability of 30% or
less.

Workers’ Medical Benefits


NSSA meets all the costs of all medical fees, drugs, hospital care, prostheses and transportation. This
is paid under the WCIF and currently there is no ceiling on medical expenses.

Survivor’s Benefits

Survivor’s Pension: Survivor benefit is paid if the deceased was receiving or met the qualifying
conditions for the old age or disability pension at the time of death. Eligible survivors (in order of
priority) are the widow/widower, children younger than age 8 (age 25 if a student, no limit if
permanently disabled), parents, and other dependents. If there is no widow/widower, dependent
children are paid through the legal guardian.
A dependant widow(er) receives 66,7% of the deceased’s pension. If there is more than one eligible
widow, the pension is split equally. However, the pension ceases on remarriage and a lump sum is
paid, which is called the remarriage settlement. This remarriage settlement is equal to 24 months of
pension.
Child’s supplement: the first child receives 12.5% of the insured pension and 5% each for the second
to the fifth child. The amount paid for each subsequent child is determined by the General Manager
of NSSA. The Child’s supplement does not cease if the surviving spouse remarries.

Dependants Allowance: this is paid to the dependant parents, brothers and sisters for the death of
an unmarried worker.

Funeral Grant: a lump sum of US$200 (April, 2009) is paid for a worker-related death as determined
by the General Manager of NSSA.
4. Affiliate Member Collective Bargaining Profile

4.1 Public Service Association (PSA)

a) About the Affiliate

PSA is the trade union body that represents the interest of all civil servants that work for the
Zimbabwean government; this excludes the armed forces and medical personnel.

The PSA consists of five associations which are:


 APEX – Administrative and Executives Association;
 CSEA – Civil Servants Employee Association;
 GWA – Government Workers’ Association;
 GOA – Government Officers’ Association; and
 PROTECH – Professional and Technical Association.

b) Legal Framework for Collective Bargaining

Unlike in the private sector were the Labour Act is enforced, the Public Service Act provides the
legislative framework in the sector. Collective bargaining in the sector is regulated by the Statutory
Instrument 141 of 1997, in terms of Section 32 of the Public Service Act [Chapter 16:04]. It is under
this SI that a Public Service Joint Negotiating Council (Joint Council) was established. The objective of
the Joint Council is to engage in mutual consultations upon and negotiate salaries, allowance and
conditions of service in the Public Service.

The roles of the Joint Council are as follows:


i. Make full disclosure of such information as will assist the Joint Council in reaching a decision;
ii. Receive, solicit and collect information on any matter in issue before the Joint Council;
iii. Conduct research and make representations on all matters affecting the conditions of
service of members of the Public Service;
iv. Receive representations from both sides represented in the Joint Council on any matter
concerning employment in the Public Service;
v. Review and negotiate salaries, allowances and conditions of service in the Public Service;
vi. Conclude and enter into agreements concerning salaries, allowances and conditions of
service for submission to the Minister for his consideration;
vii. Follow up decisions made by the Joint Council and report back to the Joint Council on their
implementation.

According to the SI the Joint Council is more of a consultative forum rather than a negotiation forum,
as decisions or conclusions made by the Joint Council are still subject to consideration by the
Minister for approval or rejection (point vi).

Therefore one can conclude that there is no collective bargaining in the civil service but mere
consultations, as the representatives of the employer present at the negotiating table do not have
the mandate to agree or disagree with the position stated by the employee representatives. The
Minister therefore has the power to make unilateral decision on the salaries, allowances and
conditions of service in the Public Service.
c) Social Security
Civil servants are covered under NSSA and all schemes are applicable to them.

d) Membership Profile
The PSA has a total of 5,926 members from the five associations. The distribution of member is as
follows:
 APEX – 300;
 CSEA –1,526;
 GWA – 3,100;
 GOA –500; and
 PROTECH –500.

e) Wage Analysis
Table 4: Trends in the Poverty Datum Line (PDL), Food Poverty Line (FPL), Consumer Price Index
(CPI) and the Minimum Wage for the Sector (February 2009-May 2010)
Month Jan'09 Feb'09 Mar'09 Apr'09 May'09 June'09
Inflation (Month on Month) (%) (3.1) (3.0) (1.1) (1.0) 0.6
Average Minimum Wage (US$) 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.005
Private Sector 69.75 109.66 118.72 128.81 129.81 133.81
All items CPI (Dec 2008=100) 94.6 91.7 90.7 89.9 90.4
CSO PDL (US$) 376.00 365.00 427.00 437.00 468.0
CSO FPL (US$) 138.37 134.32 157.14 160.82 172.22
Minimum wage/PDL (%) 26.60 27.40 23.42 22.88 21.37
Minimum wage/FPL (%) 72.27 74.45 63.64 62.18 58.06

Month July'09 Aug'09 Sept'09 Oct'09 Nov'09 Dec'09


Inflation (Month on Month) (%) 1.0 0.4 -0.5 0.8 -0.1 0.5
Average Minimum Wage (US$) 120.00 120.00 120.00 120.00 120.00 120.00
Private Sector 138.76 138.98 142.02 142.24 178.54 182.40
All items CPI (Dec 2008=100) 91.3 91.7 91.20 92.00 91.90 92.30
CSO PDL (US$) 505.00 495.00 490.00 497.00 494.00 499.00
CSO FPL (US$) 185.84 182.16 180.32 182.90 181.79 183.63
Minimum wage/PDL (%) 23.76 24.24 24.49 24.14 24.29 24.05
Minimum wage/FPL (%) 64.57 65.88 66.55 65.61 66.01 65.35

Month Jan'10 Feb'10 Mar'10 Apr'10 May'10 June'10


Inflation (Month on Month) (%) 0.7 1.0 1.1 0.1 0.3
Average Minimum Wage (US$) 122.00 122.00 122.00 122.00 122.00
Private Sector 182.40 184.30 185.00 185.00 185.00
All items CPI (Dec 2008=100) 93.0 93.9 95.0 95.1 95.2
CSO PDL (US$) 495.00 490.00 492.00 491.00 482.00
CSO FPL (US$) 182.16 180.32 181.06 180.69 177.38
Minimum wage/PDL (%) 24.65 24.90 24.80 24.85 25.31
Minimum wage/FPL (%) 66.97 67.66 67.38 67.52 68.78
Source: CSO, CCZ and PSA

5
Please note that the US$100 was not a salary but an allowance, civil servants started getting salaries in July
2010.
From Table 4 above, it is obvious that workers have been living in poverty as they have failed to keep
pace with the Poverty Datum Line (PDL). The current minimum wage of US$122.00 represents only
25.31% of the PDL as at May 2010. The minimum wage of US$122.00 does not take into account the
following; transport allowance amounting to US$7.00 and housing allowance amounting to US$6.00.
Compared to the private sector, the average minimum wage in the private sector is pegged at
US$185.00.
The current minimum wage is just a fourth (1/4) the required amount for one to be at par with the
poverty levels and is about 69% of the food needs for the month. This thereby implies that the
workers in the sector are living in poverty.
The current salary levels are not enough to cover the basic food requires for a month.

f) Conditions of Employment in the Public Service Sector

Working hours
Currently the collective bargaining agreement stipulate an eight hour working day (40hours per
week). Work start at 0800 hours and employees break at 1700 hours, this is inclusive of a 15 minute
break in the morning and in the afternoon for tea and a lunch hour for 1300hurs to 1400hours.

Annual Leave Entitlement


The Public Service Act specifies that workers should be given 12 days special leave for various
reasons and one-month annual leave entitlement, which can be taken in blocks.

Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave and Benefits


Maternity leave conditions for women workers include; full pay during the three months maternity
leave and one hour daily breaks for breast feeding for three months or when the child stops breast
feeding, whichever is sooner. Paternity leave is not covered by the collective bargaining agreement.

Health
Up to the end of 2009, the government was paying 100% of the medical aid contribution but now
employees are now paying a small portion of the medical aid contribution about 3%. One is paid sick
leave from one month to 6 months (3 months on full pay and 3 months on half pay).

Family Responsibility
As there are no clear days allocated to family responsibility, one has to use the 12 days special leave
in case of a family emergency.

HIV/AIDS
The sector is covered by the National Policy on HIV/AIDS.

g) Changes in the Conditions of Employment


There are no changes to the conditions of employment year on year, the only change is in the
salary/wage levels.

h) Participation in Collective Bargaining

According to the Statutory Instrument 141 of 1997, the Joint Council’s membership will consist of
nine members each from the Public Service Commission and nine from the Apex (union). Of the nine
members from the union seven are male and two are females, of the two females one of them is the
president and the other is the secretary.
4.2 Zimbabwe Nurses’ Association (ZINA)

a) Legal Framework for Collective Bargaining

Just like in the public sector, the negotiations framework is provided for under the Health Service
Act. Collective bargaining in the sector is regulated by the Statutory Instrument 111 of 2000, in
terms of Section 26 of the Health Service Act [Chapter 15:16]. It is under this SI that a Health Service
Bipartite Negotiating Panel (Bipartite Panel) was established. The objective of the Bipartite Panel is
to engage in mutual consultations upon and negotiate salaries, allowance and conditions of service
in the Health Service.

The roles of the Bipartite Panel are as follows:


i. Make full disclosure of such information as will assist the Bipartite Panel in reaching a
decision;
ii. Receive, solicit and collect information on any matter in issue before the Bipartite Panel;
iii. Conduct research and make representations on all matters affecting the conditions of
service of members of the Health Service;
iv. Receive representations from both sides represented in the Bipartite Panel on any matter
concerning employment in the Health Service;
v. Review and negotiate salaries, allowances and conditions of service in the Health Service;
vi. Conclude and enter into agreements concerning salaries, allowances and conditions of
service for submission to the Minister through the Board6 for his or her consideration;
vii. Follow up decisions made by the Bipartite Panel and report back to the Bipartite Panel on
their implementation.

According to the SI just like the Joint Council, the Bipartite Panel is more of a consultative forum
rather than a negotiation forum, as decisions and agreements made by the Bipartite Panel are still
subject to consideration by the Minister for approval or rejection (point vi).

Therefore one can conclude that there is no collective bargaining in the health service but mere
consultations, as the representatives of the employer present at the negotiating table do not have
the mandate to agree or disagree with the position stated by the employee representatives. The
Minister therefore has the power to make unilateral decision on the salaries, allowances and
conditions of service in the Health Service.

b) Social Security

Health service personnel are covered under NSSA and all schemes are applicable to them.

c) Membership Profile / Trend

The membership base of ZINA in 2007 was 5,000 members this fell to 4,500 members in 2008. It
further dropped to 4,000 members in 2009, this was attributed to the brain drain not only in the
sector but in the country at large. In 2009, membership also fell further due to the introduction of
the check-out system7 by the Salary Service Bureau (SSB). The system compelled the association to

6
The Board is comprised of Ministry of Health officials and representatives of all medical personnel.
7
The check out system was in the health sector only and not in all the sectors of the public sector nor the private
sector. This is whereby the association was mandated to re-register it members so that union dues could be
deducted from the salaries, as from Jan-June 2009, civil servants were earning allowances and there were no
union deductions.
ensure that all its members filled in new forms of registration, but due to immobility8 on behalf of
the association this could not be done extensively.

Most of the activities by unions had been centralised at the head office as a means of cutting on
costs. This there by meant that when the check-out system was introduced in the health sector, the
association could not fully implement a country-wide outreach to ensure that all its members filled
in the forms. This meant that all the members that did not fill in the forms were no longer remitting
union dues as they had not had the opportunity to register as union members (room to recruit the
members is still there).

d) Wage Analysis

Table 5: Trends in the Poverty Datum Line (PDL), Food Poverty Line (FPL), Consumer Price Index
(CPI) and the Minimum Wage (February 2009-May 2010)
Month Jan'09 Feb'09 Mar'09 Apr'09 May'09 June'09
Inflation (Month on Month) (%) (2.3) (3.1) (3.0) (1.1) (1.0) 0.6
Average Minimum Wage (US$) 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.009
Private Sector 69.75 109.66 118.72 128.81 129.81 133.81
All items CPI (Dec 2008=100) 97.7 94.6 91.7 90.7 89.9 90.4
CSO PDL (US$) 552.00 376.00 365.00 427.00 437.00 468.0
CSO FPL (US$) 203.14 138.37 134.32 157.14 160.82 172.22
Minimum wage/PDL (%) 0.00 26.60 27.40 23.42 22.88 21.37
Minimum wage/FPL (%) 0.00 72.27 74.45 63.64 62.18 58.06

Month July'09 Aug'09 Sept'09 Oct'09 Nov'09 Dec'09


Inflation (Month on Month) (%) 1.0 0.4 -0.5 0.8 -0.1 0.5
Average Minimum Wage (US$) 165.00 165.00 165.00 165.00 165.00 165.00
Private Sector 138.76 138.98 142.02 142.24 178.54 182.40
All items CPI (Dec 2008=100) 91.3 91.7 91.20 92.00 91.90 92.30
CSO PDL (US$) 505.00 495.00 490.00 497.00 494.00 499.00
CSO FPL (US$) 185.84 182.16 180.32 182.90 181.79 183.63
Minimum wage/PDL (%) 32.67 33.33 33.67 33.20 33.40 33.07
Minimum wage/FPL (%) 88.79 90.58 91.50 90.22 90.76 89.85

Month Jan'10 Feb'10 Mar'10 Apr'10 May'10 June'10


Inflation (Month on Month) (%) 0.7 1.0 1.1 0.1 0.3
Average Minimum Wage (US$) 176.00 176.00 176.00 176.00 176.00
Private Sector 182.40 184.30 185.00 185.00 185.00
All items CPI (Dec 2008=100) 93.0 93.9 95.0 95.1 95.2
CSO PDL (US$) 495.00 490.00 492.00 491.00 482.00
CSO FPL (US$) 182.16 180.32 181.06 180.69 177.38
Minimum wage/PDL (%) 35.56 35.92 35.77 35.85 36.51
Minimum wage/FPL (%) 96.62 97.60 97.21 97.41 99.22
Source: CSO, CCZ and ZINA

8
The association does not have a vehicle which can be used by staff to conduct outreaches.
9
The US$100 was an allowance not a salary.
From Table 5 above, it is obvious that workers have been living in poverty as they have failed to keep
pace with the Poverty Datum Line (PDL). The current minimum wage of US$176.00 represents only
36.51% of the PDL as at May 2010. The minimum wage of US$176.00 does not take into account the
following; transport allowance amounting to US$9.00 and housing allowance amounting to US$8.00.
Compared to the private sector, the average minimum wage in the private sector is pegged at
US$185.00.
The current minimum wage is less than half of the required amount for one to be at par with the
poverty levels and is at par with the food needs for the month, which is not enough to cover the
essential utility and transport costs. This thereby implies that the workers in the sector are living in
poverty.
The current salary levels are just enough to cover the basic food requires for a month.

e) Conditions of Employment in the Health Sector

Working hours
Currently the collective bargaining agreement stipulate an eight hour working day (40hours per
week).

Annual Leave Entitlement


The Health Service Act specifies that workers should be given 12 days special leave for various
reasons, 12 days compassionate leave and 45 days annual leave entitlement.

Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave and Benefits


Maternity leave conditions for women workers include; full pay during the three months maternity
leave and one hour daily breaks for breast feeding for three months or when the child stops breast
feeding, whichever is sooner. Paternity leave is not covered by the collective bargaining agreement.

Health
Up to the end of 2009, the government was paying 100% of the medical aid contribution but now
employees are now paying a same portion of the medical aid contribution. One is paid sick leave up
to 180 days (90 days full pay and 90 days on half pay).

Family Responsibility
As there are no clear days allocated to family responsibility, one has to use the 12 days special leave
in case of a family emergency.

HIV/AIDS
Currently the HIV and AIDS policy is still in development for the sector.

f) Changes in the Conditions of Employment

There are no changes to the conditions of employment year on year, the only change is in the
salary/wage levels.

g) Participation in Collective Bargaining

According to the Statutory Instrument, the Bipartite Panel’s membership will consist of six members
from the (union). Of the six members from the union, two are from ZINA and the president (female)
and the secretary general (male) are the participants in the negotiations.
4.3 Zimbabwe Rural District Councils Workers’ Union (ZRDCWU)

ZRDCWU represents non-managerial workers who are employed by the rural local authorities.

a) Legal Framework for Collective Bargaining

Like in the Public Service, collective bargaining in the sector is regulated by the Statutory Instrument
144 of 2007. The Statutory Instrument gives the union the right to negotiate on behalf of all non-
managerial employees.

b) Social Security

Workers in the sector are covered under NSSA, but they have their own pension fund where the
employer contributes 12% and the employees contribute 8% of their monthly earnings.

c) Membership Profile / Trend

For the years 2009 and 2010 membership of the union was pegged at 5, 500.

d) Wage Analysis

Table 6: Trends in the Poverty Datum Line (PDL), Food Poverty Line (FPL), Consumer Price Index
(CPI) and the Minimum Wage for the Sector (July 2009-May 2010)
Month July'09 Aug'09 Sept'09 Oct'09 Nov'09 Dec'09
Inflation (Month on Month) (%) 1.0 0.4 -0.5 0.8 -0.1 0.5
Average Minimum Wage (US$) 115.80 115.80 115.80 115.80 115.80 115.80
Private Sector 138.76 138.98 142.02 142.24 178.54 182.40
All items CPI (Dec 2008=100) 91.3 91.7 91.20 92.00 91.90 92.30
CSO PDL (US$) 505.00 495.00 490.00 497.00 494.00 499.00
CSO FPL (US$) 185.84 182.16 180.32 182.90 181.79 183.63
Minimum wage/PDL (%) 22.93 23.39 23.63 23.30 23.44 23.21
Minimum wage/FPL (%) 62.31 63.57 64.22 63.31 63.70 63.06

Month Jan'10 Feb'10 Mar'10 Apr'10 May'10 June'10


Inflation (Month on Month) (%) 0.7 1.0 1.1 0.1 0.3
Average Minimum Wage (US$) 115.80 115.80 115.80 151.00 151.00
Private Sector 182.40 184.30 185.00 185.00 185.00
All items CPI (Dec 2008=100) 93.0 93.9 95.0 95.1 95.2
CSO PDL (US$) 495.00 490.00 492.00 491.00 482.00
CSO FPL (US$) 182.16 180.32 181.06 180.69 177.38
Minimum wage/PDL (%) 23.39 23.63 23.54 30.75 31.33
Minimum wage/FPL (%) 63.57 64.22 63.96 83.57 85.13
Source: CSO, CCZ and ZRDCWU

From Table 6 above, it is obvious that workers have been living in poverty as they have failed to keep
pace with the Poverty Datum Line (PDL). The current minimum wage of US$151.00 represents only
31.33% of the PDL as at May 2010. The minimum wage of US$151.00 does not take into account the
following; transport allowance amounting to US$30.00 and housing allowance amounting to
US$30.00. As part of the allowances the workers also get a food hamper composed of the following:
25kg mealie-meal, 5kg sugar, 2 litres cooking oil, 2 kg salt and 2 bars of washing soap. Compared to
the private sector, the average minimum wage in the private sector is pegged at US$185.00.

e) Conditions of Employment in the Rural District Councils

i. Working hours
Currently the collective bargaining agreement stipulate an eight hour working day (40hours
per week).

ii. Annual Leave Entitlement


Workers have 6 days of occasional leave, 12 days compassionate leave and 12 days
annual leave entitlement.

iii. Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave and Benefits


Maternity leave conditions for women workers include; full pay during the three
months maternity leave and one hour daily breaks for breast feeding for three months
or when the child stops breast feeding, whichever is sooner. Paternity leave is not
covered by the collective bargaining agreement.

iv. Health
One is paid sick leave up to 180 days (90 days full pay and 90 days on half pay). Workers are
contributing to their medical aid without the employer contributing anything.

v. Family Responsibility
As there are no clear days allocated to family responsibility, one has to use the 6 days of
occasional leave in case of a family emergency.

vi. HIV/AIDS
The sector is in the process of coming up with a HIV and AIDS policy, and currently they have
the first draft.

f) Changes in the Conditions of Employment

There have been no changes to the conditions of employment year on year, as for the past five and
more years the concentration has been on salaries.

g) Participation in Collective Bargaining

Currently the negotiating team is composed of five males and no females. These males include the
President, Vice President, General Secretary, Trustee and the Treasurer.
4.4 Zimbabwe Urban Councils Workers’ Union (ZUCWU)

ZUCWU represents all non-managerial workers who are employed by the urban local authorities.

a) Legal Framework for Collective Bargaining

Collective bargaining regulations and legislation in the sector is covered by the Labour Act [Chapter
28:01]10. Collective bargaining is covered under Part X: Collective Bargaining Agreements Negotiated
by Trade Unions and Employers Organizations. The scope of collective bargaining agreements states
that:

i. This Part shall apply to collective bargaining agreements negotiated by registered trade
unions, employers and employers’ organizations or federations thereof:
Provided that nothing in this Part contained shall prevent an unregistered trade union or
employers’ organization from negotiating a collective bargaining agreement.
ii. Subject to this Act and the competence and authority of the parties, trade unions and
employers or employers organizations may negotiate collective bargaining agreements as
to any conditions of employment which are of mutual interest to the parties thereto.
iii. Without derogation from the generality of subsection (ii), a collective bargaining agreement
may make provision for other conditions of employment.
iv. Nothing contained in any collective bargaining agreement shall prevent either or both of the
parties from seeking to renegotiate or amend the agreement after twelve months of its
operation in order to take account of changed circumstances in the industry or undertaking
concerned.
v. A collective bargaining agreement shall not contain any provision which is inconsistent with
this Act or any other enactment, and any collective bargaining agreement which contains
any such provision shall, to the extent of such inconsistency, be construed with such
modifications, qualifications, adaptations and exceptions as may be necessary to bring it into
conformity with this Act or such other enactment.
vi. The existence of a collective bargaining agreement shall not preclude an employer and his
employees from agreeing to the introduction of higher rates of pay or other more
favourable conditions of employment before the expiry of such collective bargaining
agreement, so however that the rights and interests of the employees are not thereby
diminished or adversely affected:
Provided that the collective bargaining agreement shall be endorsed to reflect such higher
rates of pay or other more favourable conditions of employment.

For the senior employees of the urban council, the Urban Council’s Act is used for other conditions
of employment which are not covered under the Labour Act. The Labour Act is the principle
legislation in regard to collective bargaining.

b) Social Security

Urban council employees are covered under NSSA and all schemes are applicable to them. Urban
council employees also stand to benefit form the Local Authority Pension Fund (LAPF). The LAPF is a
self-administered defined benefit scheme. Contribution to the fund is compulsory to all permanent
local authority employees who have not attained the age of fifty-five years. The Pension Fund's
existence is premised on two main categories of objectives which are: (i) Financial Objectives

10
Acts 16/1985, 12/1992, 20/1994 (s. 19), 22/2001 (s. 4), 17/2002, 7/2005.
(investment performance and funding status) and (ii) Service Delivery Objectives. The above
objectives underlie what constitutes, the "pension plan promise" to its members and their
beneficiaries which entails the provision of the following benefits to members: Death benefit; A
pension on retirement; An ill health early retirement pension; and A pre and post retirement
pension for surviving spouses and children.

c) Membership Profile

Currently the membership is 7,000. This huge number in membership has been facilitated by an
aggressive recruitment programme, which has seen the union having membership from 21 branches
out of 28, an increase from 5 branches. Already the union is making inroads to recruit the
outstanding five branches.

Through the assistance of the ZCTU, the union conducted workplace based meeting. It was in these
meetings that topical issues concerning the workers were done for example wage related issues and
legal representation. Also in these meeting the union marketed itself and informed the workers of
what it had to offer and the advantages of being trade union members. The meetings were in
essence a recruitment tool and it worked.

d) Wage Analysis

Table 7: Trends in the Poverty Datum Line (PDL), Food Poverty Line (FPL), Consumer Price Index
(CPI) and the Minimum Wage for the Sector Workers (February 2009-May 2010)
Month Jan'09 Feb'09 Mar'09 Apr'09 May'09 June'09
Inflation (Month on Month) (%) (3.1) (3.0) (1.1) (1.0) 0.6
Average Minimum Wage (US$) 150.00 150.00 150.00 150.00 150.00
Private Sector 109.66 118.72 128.81 129.81 133.81
All items CPI (Dec 2008=100) 94.6 91.7 90.7 89.9 90.4
CSO PDL (US$) 376.00 365.00 427.00 437.00 468.0
CSO FPL (US$) 138.37 134.32 157.14 160.82 172.22
Minimum wage/PDL (%) 39.89 41.10 35.13 34.32 32.05
Minimum wage/FPL (%) 108.41 111.67 95.46 93.27 87.10

Month July'09 Aug'09 Sept'09 Oct'09 Nov'09 Dec'09


Inflation (Month on Month) (%) 1.0 0.4 -0.5 0.8 -0.1 0.5
Average Minimum Wage (US$) 150.00 150.00 150.00 150.00 150.00 150.00
Private Sector 138.76 138.98 142.02 142.24 178.54 182.40
All items CPI (Dec 2008=100) 91.3 91.7 91.20 92.00 91.90 92.30
CSO PDL (US$) 505.00 495.00 490.00 497.00 494.00 499.00
CSO FPL (US$) 185.84 182.16 180.32 182.90 181.79 183.63
Minimum wage/PDL (%) 29.70 30.30 30.61 30.18 30.36 30.06
Minimum wage/FPL (%) 80.71 82.35 83.19 82.01 82.51 81.69
Month Jan'10 Feb'10 Mar'10 Apr'10 May'10 June'10
Inflation (Month on Month) (%) 0.7 1.0 1.1 0.1 0.3
Average Minimum Wage (US$) 150.00 150.00 150.00 150.00 150.00
Private Sector 182.40 184.30 185.00 185.00 185.00
All items CPI (Dec 2008=100) 93.0 93.9 95.0 95.1 95.2
CSO PDL (US$) 495.00 490.00 492.00 491.00 482.00
CSO FPL (US$) 182.16 180.32 181.06 180.69 177.38
Minimum wage/PDL (%) 30.30 30.61 30.49 30.55 31.12
Minimum wage/FPL (%) 82.35 83.19 82.85 83.02 84.57
Source: CSO, CCZ and ZUCWU

From Table 7 above, it is obvious that workers have been living in poverty as they have failed to keep
pace with the Poverty Datum Line (PDL). The current minimum wage of US$150.00, which has been
prevailing since February 2009, represents only 31.12% of the PDL as at May 2010. The current
minimum wage is less than half of the required amount for one to be at par with the poverty levels
and is at 85% of the food needs for the month, and is not enough to cover the essential utility and
transport costs. This thereby implies that the workers in the sector are living in poverty.

When an employee works overtime, he/she is paid 1.5 times the normal rate if he/she does their
overtime on Saturday and if he/she works on Sunday he/she is paid 2 times the normal rate.

e) Conditions of Employment in the Rural Councils

Working hours
Currently the collective bargaining agreement stipulate an eight hour working day (48hours per
week).

Annual Leave Entitlement


Workers have 6 days of occasional leave, 12 days compassionate leave and 12 days annual leave
entitlement.

Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave and Benefits


Maternity leave conditions for women workers include; full pay during the three months maternity
leave and one hour daily breaks for breast feeding for three months or when the child stops breast
feeding, whichever is sooner. Paternity leave is not covered by the collective bargaining agreement.

Health
One is paid sick leave up to 180 days (90 days full pay and 90 days on half pay). Workers also
contribute to their medical aid with them paying a third of the total contribution and the employer
paying two thirds.

Family Responsibility
As there are no clear days allocated to family responsibility, one has to use the 6 days of occasional
leave in case of a family emergency.

HIV/AIDS
The sector has a HIV and AIDS policy which they came up with, through the assistance of ZCTU and
the ILO but the document is yet to be published.
f) Changes in the Conditions of Employment

There are changes to the conditions of employment year on year, the changes include:
 Increases in protective clothing;
 Risk allowances;
 Standby and Night allowances;
 Representative allowances; and
 Critical Duties allowances.

g) Participation in Collective Bargaining

Currently there is no NEC in the urban councils, therefore negotiations are done at branch level (per
local authority). The union has come up with a strategy which is as follows:

i. Each branch has 10 senior officials;


ii. Of the 10 top officials, 2 (the chairperson and secretary) attended a collective bargaining
workshop where deliberation on the coming periods negotiations take place;
iii. From the workshop the 2 officials who participated then inform the rest of the branch
members and finally;
iv. In a uniform manner all positions and negotiations by the union are the same across the
country.
The gender dimensions varied in the sector and could not be establish at the time of the survey.
5. Challenges faced by Affiliates in Collective Bargaining

Fragmentation of Labour Legislation


The fact that there is no one single labour legislation is a source of major worry. It is because of the
fragmented nature of the labour legislation in Zimbabwe that disadvantages workers in the public
sector and takes away their right to actively participate in collective bargaining. Besides the right to
collective bargaining not being there, the platform for collective bargaining are also not there. The
negotiating platforms are the National Employment Councils (NECs).

Lack of recognition or representation


In the municipality sector this is not a problem but this is a major problem in the public sector as PSA
and ZINA are not viewed as unions who need their full rights as worker’s organisation and have the
right to actively participate in collective bargaining.

Lack of capacity of Trade Unions


Many unions were challenged by lose of trained manpower such as shop-stewards, educators,
organisers, paralegals, negotiators and other activists due to loss of jobs caused by the economic
and political environment meltdown and HIV and AIDS.

Violation of workers basic rights


This has been explicitly experienced by all trade unions in Zimbabwe especially the right to strike as a
bargaining tool.

Lack of Financial Capacity


The lack of funding has affected recruitment and organising of members for most of the affiliates.
The affiliates have not been able to carry out educational programmes which were not only to
capacitate and services member but are also tools of recruitment and organising the workers. The
lack of finance has also affected in meeting the operational costs of running and maintaining the
institutions as well as employing staff the at the union offices.

Lack of mandate
Members of the negotiating team (from the government) don’t have the mandate to negotiate on
behalf of the government as the Minister has the final say, but are sent to negotiate on behalf of the
government. This reinforces the fact that the negotiations in the public sector are not negotiations
but mere consultations.

Government interferences
The Minister of Finance has no many occasions announced a wage freeze for all civil servants, at one
instant calling the increase of the wage level a crime. At the same time the Minister of Industry and
Commerce came out in the newspaper hinting that arbitrators needed to be retrained as they were
awarding relatively high awards11. The Minister of Local Government has also tried to push for a
wage freeze for senior employees in the municipalities, this automatically meaning that all wages in
the sector will be frozen.

Other challenges faced in collective bargaining include:


 Lack of good faith between parties especially employer and Government;
 High unemployment rate;
 Lack of conducive political, economic and social environment; and
 Repressive and unsupportive legislation.
11
One has to note that these awards were below the Poverty Datum Line (PDL)
6. Recommendations for Strengthening Unions in (and through) Collective
Bargaining

Zimbabwean legislation recognises the right to engage in collective bargaining. This is done at both
enterprise level through works councils and at industrial level through the auspices of employment
councils. However, this right does not apply to public service employees who are covered by the
Public Service Act Chapter 16:04 and the Heath Services Act Chapter 15:16. Public service legislation
only recognises consultations with the employer having a final say in the consultations.

On the other hand, collective bargaining without the recognition of full right to strike is useless as
this tend to tilt the bargaining power to the employers. International law supports this argument.
ILO convention on freedom of association embodies the right to strike which is inseparable from the
convention on collective bargaining. Zimbabwe legislation needs to be reformed in this area and
afford a balance to the negotiating parties. Collective bargaining and the right to strike is also
protected by the following international instruments: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Covenant on Social and Economic Rights, the African
Charter on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Social Rights in the SADC.

The Legal Framework Needs Changes

A more critical and analytical look at collective bargaining, shows that the legal framework ids the
guiding point when it come to collective bargaining. Thus, there is need to push for the
harmonisation of the labour laws in Zimbabwe, current efforts by the ZCTU should be supported by
all unions. In the event of the labour laws being harmonised the public sector will also be accorded
the full right to collective bargaining, thereby empowering the unions. This will also improve the
conditions of service for most of the workers at a national set standard as prescribe in the Labour
Relation Act.

A more conducive legal framework will:


 Empower the negotiating teams to come up with final decision. It gives them the mandate;
 Create the platform for negotiations;
 Give recognition to worker representation; and
 Provides the framework for the whole collective bargaining process.

Training and Re-training of Collective Bargaining

There is need to train and retrain personnel by the unions, due to the brain drain unions lost most of
their trained cadres. The training of the following persons; educators, organisers, paralegals,
negotiators and other activists, will not only capacitate the unions in collective bargaining but also in
the recruitment of new members.

Recruitment

The bargaining power of the union relies on the number of members the union commands. It is
therefore imperative that affiliates need to embark on an aggressive recruitment drive. Workplace
based meeting and study circles can be used to recruit and inform workers on the advantage of
joining trade unions.
Revamp the Campaign for a Living Wage

The campaign for Poverty Datum Line (PDL) linked wages needs to be revamped. This will be through
creating an equitable earnings structure by uplifting those at the lowest level to at least the Poverty
Datum Line as agreed at the Tripartite Negotiating Forum in 2007 and ensuring that those at the
upper echelons of the earnings structure also shoulder the burden of adjustment and recovery. The
PDL should be the focus and the future in the minds of the unions.
7. Summary

Collective Bargaining Benchmarks


Affiliate
Benchmark
PSA ZINA ZRDCWU ZUCWU
Wages, Allowances, Hours Of Work
Link Of Wage Increase To Inflation no no No no
Overtime no no No Sat-1.5 & Sun-2.0
Night Shift Allowance no no No yes
Standby Allowance no no No yes
Transport Allowance US$7.00 US$8.00 US$30.00 no
Funeral Assistance no no Yes yes
Housing Allowances US$8.00 US$9.00 US$30.00 no
Hours Of Work 40hrs 40hrs 40hrs 48hrs

Security In Employment
Employment Security Very High Very High Very High Very High
Annual Leave 30 days 45 days 45 days 12 days
Compassionate Leave 12 days 12 days 12 days
Special Leave 12 days 12 days 12 days 6 days

Gender In The Workplace


Maternity Leave 90 days 90 days 90 days 90 days
Job Security present present Present present
Childcare Facilities not available not available not available not available
use of use of use of
compassionate compassionate compassionate use of occasional
Family Responsibility leave leave leave leave
Paternity Leave no no no no

General Health
Medical/Health Cover yes yes No yes
Sick Leave 180 days 180 days 180 days 180days

Health & Safety


Health And Safety Committee yes yes yes yes
Policy OHS-NSSA OHS-NSSA OHS-NSSA OHS-NSSA

HIV and AIDS


in in
Policy yes development development yes to be published
Bibliography

Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (June 2010): Lower Income Urban Earner Monthly Budget for Family
of Six (Mother, Father and Four Children)

Central Statistics Office (2004): Labour Force Survey Report.

Central Statistics Office (June 2010): Prices-Consumer Price Index.

Republic of Zimbabwe (2002). Labour Relations Act. Government Printers

Republic of Zimbabwe: Rural District Councils Statutory Instrument No.144 of 2007. Government
Printers

Republic of Zimbabwe: Public Service (Public Service Joint Negotiating Council) Regulations,
Statutory Instrument No.141/97. Government Printers

Republic of Zimbabwe: Health Service (Health Service Bipartite Negotiating Panel) Regulations, No.
111/2006. Government Printers

ZCTU Accounts Department (2010): Affiliate Unions Declared Membership Files