September 17, 2020

Government, workers in deadlock over salaries

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Takudzwa Chihambakwe

Salary negotiations between Government and its employees hit a deadlock today (Thursday) after civil servants rejected a 40% increment.

Today’s meeting was the second with negotiations having started last week, for the first time sincethe first quarter of 2020.

In a statement after the negotiations which were held virtually, the Civil Service Apex Council said it was not accepting the offer which would see the lowest paid worker taking home ZWL4800.

“The National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) meeting held today was deadlocked after workers rejected the Government offer of 40% of the basic salary and current allowance which would amount to ZWL4800 for the lowest paid worker, translating to just about USD50,” read a statement from the Apex Council.

“The workers stuck to the demand that whatever percentage increase be based on the October 2018 salary of USD441 for the lowest paid worker, benchmarked against the foreign currency auction rate.

The Government insisted on basing the negotiations on the Poverty Datum Line but the workers felt that the first step is to restore the lost value of wages.

“While Government had initially committed to pay the Covid allowance up to year end, it has now insisted this is conditional on the signing of a substantive agreement.

As for the outstanding USD75 Covid Allowance, Government has promised to pay on or before the 25th of September 2020,” further read the statement.

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