Unions Tell VP Chiwenga To Stop Meddling In PSMAS Affairs

Civil servants have advised Vice President Constantino Chiwenga to stop interfering in the affairs of the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS).

Constantino Chiwenga holds the Holy Bible as he takes his oath of office as Zimbabwe’s new Vice-President during a swearing-in ceremony at the State House in Harare on August 30, 2018. – Zimbabwe’s President on August 30 appointed Constantino Chiwenga, a former army chief and Kembo Mohadi, an ex-spy minister as his deputies a week after he was sworn-in as president. Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions(Photo by Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP)

In a letter dated 1 June 2022, addressed to Chiwenga, who is also the Health and Child Care minister, the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) decried the Government’s tendency to sideline civil servants on the PSMAS issue. Reads the letter:

Your announcement, Your Excellency is regrettably, yet another example of the employer making a unilateral decision on a matter of collective bargaining nature without consulting its employees at all.

This observation is particularly important in view of the fact that on March 28 2022 we wrote to [Minister] Paul Mavima proposing that instead of Government directly paying subscriptions on behalf of civil servants to PSMAS, it was fairer if Government simply paid an allowance to all employees and leave them scout around and choose medical aid societies of their choice.

This would firstly allow freedom of choice and secondly allow numerous civil servants who are currently not on PSMAS and therefore not enjoying medical aid benefits, to also benefit therefrom.

We have taken note of the rather irrational scenario where we are paying more for funeral assurance than we do for medical aid. Surely, healthcare is more important than a burial.

… An agreement has to be reached between the employer and us, the employees, on new salaries for the civil servants sooner rather than later to avert industrial disharmony.

Our below-inflation wages have impacted our access to affordable quality healthcare and PSMAS is the most affected in this regard.

Civil servants are requesting to meet Chiwenga as soon as possible to address the concerns raised.

They believe the Public Service Commission (PSC) and Public Service and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima have failed to address their problems.

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