August 26, 2019

Zim Government workers meet over salary offer

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Leroy Dzenga

UNIONS under the Apex Council will meet on Tuesday to discuss the salary increase offer tabled by the Zimbabwean government.

The government proposed to increase salaries of civil servants by 76 percent, a review which will see the lowest paid worker earning RTGS $1023 from $582.

The Apex Council asked for time to consult its members before responding to the offer.

“We will meet tomorrow (Tuesday) to consider the feedback from various unions. We will meet first before we give feedback to Government. By end of day tomorrow we should have made a determination,” Apex Council Secretary, David Dzatsunga said.

Although the collective decision is yet to be made, some workers’ bodies have rejected the salary deal.

Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) Acting President, Peter Magombeyi, has written to the Health Services Board urging it to revise its offer.

Government is willing to negotiate but within its means, and it is not clear if it will accept demands from workers to peg salaries at the US$/RTGS dollar interbank rate.

 “The government’s offer was communicated to doctors nationwide and it has been agreed that the amount offered is mediocre and is insufficient to meet the current cost of living. We maintain our request to have our earnings, which were previously pegged in US dollars, to be paid at the prevailing interbank rate,” read the letter.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Teachers Association has released a statement describing the offer as unreasonable.

“ZIMTA has rejected the award as a paltry offer that falls far short from meeting the market dictates, let alone the poverty datum line.

“The award is unreasonable as it fails to meet at least 50 percent of the market value which our research strongly revealed is at RTGS$4600,” read part of the statement.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Dr Sekai Nzenza said government is willing to listen but within the confines of their capacity to pay.

“We are a government that listens to its workers. We believe in dialogue and we will continue to talk to our workers until we find mutual ground,” said Dr Nzenza.

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