Government Friday awarded civil servants a salary increment which will see a $31 rise in the basic salary of the lowest-earning employee.
The least-paid government worker will now get a basic salary of $159, up from $128, while housing allowance has been pegged at $50 from $30 and transport allowance at $44 from $28, bringing the total package to $253, which is half of the poverty datum line figure currently pegged at $502.
The Apex Council, which represents all civil servants, accepted the increase although the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), which has called for a teachers’ strike, dismissed the increment as paltry. PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe stormed out of a Press conference called by the Apex Council to announce the increment, accusing the body of accepting “peanuts”.
Apex Council is composed of PTUZ, Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association, Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, College Lecturers’ Association of Zimbabwe and Public Service Association
Tendai Chikowore, the Apex Council president, said the increment would be with effect from July 1 and will be effective until December 31. She said the next review would be in January 2012.
“A protracted process of negotiations and consultations between government and the leadership of the Apex Council . . . has resulted in an agreement on the levels of remuneration to be paid to civil servants and defined a way forward towards the attainment of a poverty datum line- informed remuneration package for the least-paid civil servant,” she said.
Majongwe said: “We don’t need a spirit medium to speak on our behalf. As PTUZ, we are very disappointed and we want to state it categorically and without doubt that we are unhappy.”
But, other union leaders accused Majongwe of seeking cheap publicity, claiming his organisation had accepted the salary hike during negotiations only to renege at the Press briefing.