The Chief Executive Officer,
Senior Management Staff,
ZUFIAW National Executive Leaders
Comrades from the Civil Servants union of Zambia
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen,
May I Simple Say All Protocols Observed,
CEO, you may wish to note that the discussions for the Recognition Agreement started as early as the year 2020, when some members of staff from this institution approached us and expressed their desire to join the Zambia Union of Financial Institutions and Allied Workers – ZUFIAW. However, the Union was alive to the fact that there was need for Management and the Union to effectively engage and ensure that the interests of both the workers and the institution were duly taken into consideration. A lengthy but necessary process followed and the Union is grateful that management facilitated ZUFIAW the opportunity to engage the workforce across the country, in accordance with the provisions of Section 5 of the Industrial and Labour Relations Act Cap 269, which accords workers in this country the freedom to make a choice to belong to a Trade Union of their choice.
CEO, I wish to note the instrumental role you played in this process, through your management to ensure that the parties involved amicably reached agreement in a mature and productive manner. It is against this backdrop that I wish to reiterate ZUFIAW’s commitment to ensuring that Agency continues to be a viable and productive institution. Further, we are committed to ensuring that this institution grows from strength to strength, whilst ensuring that the needs of both Agency and the workers’ needs and aspirations are effectively met.
CEO, many are times when the Union has been viewed as a rival rather than a partner in such instances. However, am glad to point out that the majority of the institutions that had previously harboured such sentiment have now come to appreciate the role that Unions plays in the developmental agenda at the institutional and country level. We are confident that the relationship between our two institutions shall be a productive one, given the consultative and open relationship that we have nurtured thus far.
CEO, allow me to pose a few challenges to management, which I believe shall be of benefit to the workers and the institution as a whole:
- Workers Education:
The Union has a robust workers education program which imparts skills in the general membership in order to ensure that all the parties are aware of their respective responsibilities in this partnership. ZUFIAW takes pride in its legacy of hard work and being an exemplary player in the labour movement. This has been made possible by the extensive investment we put in our workers’ education programs.
- Home Empowerment:
ZUFIAW has over the years held a firm belief that home empowerment remains the key to a basic but decent life for workers. Our numerous home empowerment schemes over the years demonstrate this assertion. The Union currently has Memorandum of Recognition Agreements with several real estate companies, which provide cheap but decent land and housing opportunities for our members. These agreements enable members to get plots and housing on flexible payment plans which are less constrictive as compared to current bank mortgages and loans, thereby, ensuring that Unionized members acquire decent housing before retirement.
- Informal Sector Desk:
CEO, you may also wish to know that ZUFIAW has an informal sector desk which imparts business and entrepreneurship skills in members, in preparation for life after employment. Our aim is to impart this knowledge in our members whilst they are still in employment, without affecting their effectiveness and productivity in their current role.
- Women and Youth:
CEO, ZUFIAW has very strong structures in all our affiliated institutions representing the interest of Workers across the 10 provinces including Women and Youths. Our 2022 to 2025 Strategic plan is fully aligned with the new dawn government’s agenda of empowering Women and Youths hence we will partner with the Agency and indeed government to ensure our members fully benefit from the government’s policies.
CEO, allow me in my closing remarks, to point out that ZUFIAW has come as a partner and not as a rival in this agreement. We shall remain professional and committed to the achievement of the institution’s overall objective as we equally ensure that the welfare of the worker is achieved.
I thank you
Kasapo Sundrea Kabende
ZUFIAW General Secretary