Disgruntled government workers are planning a nationwide mass action over poor salaries, Business Times can report.
But government sources have told Business Times that salary negotiations are expected in June and from there a concrete position will be taken.
Civil servants are demanding a pre-October 2018 salary level of US$540 a month saying their low salary no longer matches the rising cost of living.
The government workers’ salaries amount to about ZWL$30 000 a month on average plus US$175 in allowances. The cost of living for a family of six is now over ZWL$100 000.
The workers have declared incapacitation to continue reporting for work, with the civil servants’ representative body, Apex Council, saying the salary was no longer justifiable given the headwinds in the economy.
Confirming the impending job action, the Apex Council secretary, David Dzatsunga told Business Times that one of the most disappointing things is that the government seems not to be concerned with their welfare despite the price hikes on a daily basis.
“We just met as Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions to deliberate on the long overdue need for a cost of living adjustment and the attitude of the employer to ignore our request for an urgent National Joint Negotiation Committee (NJNC) to relieve the economic stress workers are facing right now. Our resolution was for us to take action that we will announce soon once it is conceptualised,” Dzatsunga said.
Dzatsunga said they represent the civil servants and they need urgent results from the government as most were living on the margin as the economic woes continue to bite.
“Things are really hard for the workers in general with most failing to put basic food and necessities for their families on the table. When a person goes to work they must be remunerated accordingly in a manner that is productive,” Dzatsunga said.
Apex believes the government has enough resources to pay civil servants in US$ despite the central bank governor John Mangudya saying the country has only 44% of the total money supply in the economy which is not enough to dollarise.
“We do not believe that the economy of Zimbabwe is crippled to the extent that it cannot pay people that are productive, it is only a matter of priorities,” Dzatsunga said.
“Ordinarily when an employer employs it means they have the resources for their workers so that they keep on coming to work. This means if there is not enough resources or money to pay workers there should be limited recruitment at the organisation.”
Apex Council said the meeting that was supposed to take place last week did not occur and there were no set dates for the NJNC meeting as the government seems not to be willing to negotiate.
Recently, the government said it is going to look into civil servants salaries and see if they could review them upwards. https://businesstimes.co.zw/