PUBLIC service unions have petitioned Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska to intervene in a matter in which some ministries have not paid the December 2015 union subscriptions.

In a letter signed by Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) secretary general Cosmas Mukuka, addressed to the Secretary to the Cabinet, the unions have asked Mr Msiska to find a system of paying union subscriptions in time. The public service unions have demanded that the unions should not be treated as “third parties because they were doing business with Government but were in service with Government’’. “We have chosen not to react sharply to this situation but we hope that your office, where we have managed short notice appointments and clarifications, will address this,” read part of the letter. Meanwhile, Mr Mukuka said he was disappointed with the manner the Ministry of Finance officials mistreated public service union leaders who had gone to the ministry to collect union subscriptions. “On Friday 8/01/16 the public service unions complained to us that the Ministry of Finance officials who were supposed to fund their December union subscriptions were not co-operating with them and in most cases they had their phones unreachable. We decided to escort them to the Ministry of Finance to verify the same,” Mr Mukuka said. He said upon arrival the unions delegation had a discussion with an official who claimed to be the acting director for Budgets but did not seem to have had immediate answers. “It was at this time when it was raining heavily during lunch time at 14:00, we decided to see the one who was acting in place of Permanent Secretary Budget Dr Ronald Simwinga whose office was active. His secretary also arrogantly indicated that he was having lunch in the office and asked us to wait up to 14:00, to which we did not object as it was 10 minutes before 14:00 hours,” narrated Mr Mukuka in a petition. He said the fact that the delegation refused to take up seats and wait for the appointed time whilst standing, made the office to call the police to disperse everyone. “We were shocked to see the police in the premises and we chose not to talk to them and left. We further refused to talk to the pressmen who walked in together with the police officers,” Mr Mukuka said.

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