September 16, 2019

Zimbabwe price hikes erode incomes

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… as Civil servants cry foul

Pamela Shumba

ZIMBABWE civil servant umbrella body, the Apex Council, says the government should come up with a framework that safeguards the value of their salaries, following the latest wage adjustments that triggered significant price increases.

Government last month increased civil servant salaries by 76 percent, a development that saw the lowest paid worker earning RTGS$1,023 up from RTGS$582.

The president of the Apex Council, Cecilia Alexander, said while the body appreciates the government’s efforts to improve their conditions of service, they were concerned by the price increases effected by the business sector in reaction to their salary adjustments.

Civil  servants  cry foul . . . Price hikes erode incomes
Apex Council president, Cecilia Alexander

“What is happening in the market is unacceptable and Government must step in. When civil servants receive increments, prices of basic commodities and services shoot up. 

“Retailers and service providers don’t even care how much increment was received, they simply review their prices upwards,” said Mrs Alexander.

She added that salary negotiations between the government and the Apex Council will continue, with the civil servants’ umbrella body expecting salaries that match the prevailing exchange rates.

“We didn’t conclude the salary negotiations. We don’t have dates yet but we’ll continue and we hope that the Government will consider our requests. 

“Our position is that salaries should be matched by the current interbank market rates because all prices have gone up by that factor,” said Mrs Alexander.

Apart from the various monetary incentives to cushion the civil servants, the government introduced non-monetary incentives such as affordable medical aid and pension schemes and housing facilities.

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