Government workers are said to have rejected a US$50 salary increment offered by the government last week at the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) negotiations.
They want a US$150 increment to keep up with the rising cost of living.
Zimbabwe Congress of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) secretary-general David Dzatsunga told Business Times that the civil servants were demanding the US$540 per month.
“I am sorry I can’t tell the amount that we were offered by the employer but what I can tell you is that we want the government to pay the US$540 per month. In case the authorities say they are not able to pay that amount now, in the meantime we need an increment in the range of between US$100 and US$150 per month.
“Any increment below that, we are not going to accept it,” Dzatsunga said.
Recently, ZCPSTU claimed that although the government had made a number of promises regarding workers’ demands, some issues still needed to be resolved.
The least paid civil servant is said to be earning US$250 and ZWL$130 000 a month.
Civil servants said the ZWL$130 000 was now meaningless and was equivalent to less than US$20.
They said there was a need to scrap the ZWL$ which is lagging behind inflation and consider a 100% US$ salary.
This will enable workers to preserve a bit of value.
The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union president Obert Masaraure said there was a need to respect civil servants by giving them a US$ salary.
“ The government of [President] Emmerson Mnangagwa has always disregarded the fundamental rights of the workers after his Labour Minister Paul Mavima announced a salary rise of US$50 without consulting the workers.
“Ordinarily we would have discussed this offer on the collective bargaining platform but unfortunately (Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Paul) Mavima doesn’t respect the NJNC. We have rejected the NJNC and the minister doesn’t care.
“We didn’t just reject the US$50 but the whole process that the government has been insisting on this illegal process we have rejected (it),” Masaraure said.
He said the association has received an instruction from teachers that they want to close schools early on July 18 and submitted a notice on Wednesday this week to the government.
“We have resolved to close early as political violence and contestations are likely to spill in our schools therefore it is no longer safe for teachers and learners,” Masaraure said.