Govt to cushion workers’ salaries

Acting Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere has said, the government is steadfast in its support of and commitment to enhancing the welfare of its workers and would shortly examine civil servant salaries to protect them from price increases.

The government currently provides its employees with various allowances in foreign currencies in addition to their salary, with the lowest paid individuals receiving roughly US$250 per month, The Herald reports

To address the percentage rise, the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC), the organization that serves as the focal point for discussions on compensation and working conditions in the public sector, is scheduled to meet soon.

When asked whether the Teaching Professional Council Bill will alter the negotiations on teacher pay during a post-Cabinet briefing on Tuesday, Minister Muswere responded that the current bargaining framework remained in place.

“The platform for salary negotiation is another platform and this will not disrupt any negotiations that are taking place.

“That is why Professor Mthuli Ncube has just indicated that the review of civil servants salaries has already started and its another platform.”

As a follow up, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima yesterday said the salary review was being worked out.

“The percentage is subject to negotiation in the National Joint Negotiating Council. As for the time frame, we will convene the NJNC as soon as the framework is provided by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. Within the next two weeks the NJNC will have met,” he said.

Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Union spokesperson, Mr David Dzatsunga said they were waiting for the NJNC meeting to finalise on the pay increase.

“Right now, the concern is the restoration of the value of wages in local currency that has been lost recently due to the exchange rate madness and the resultant price increases.

“At the moment there is no Zimbabwe dollar salary to speak of while the US$250 is an allowance,” he said.

The latest offer by the Government was a 100 percent pay increase for civil servants which matched the tabled proposal from workers during their NJNC.

Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Union chairperson Mrs Cecilia Alexander said it was their hope that Government would review both the local currency and forex component.

“We also remain committed to the path of dialogue for it can only be through dialogue that we can be able to improve our conditions of service.”

“We are actually calling for an urgent NJNC meeting on the erosion of the local currency,” she said.

Mrs Alexander said they were expecting an offer with mechanisations to adjust with inflation saying the situation was complicated as each time they negotiated salaries, there was sabotage of some sort to erode its value.

She said Government had been trying hard to improve their welfare by regularly reviewing salaries and allowances but because of sabotage, there was need to find a way forward.

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