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Civil servants threaten fresh strike

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Civil servants have given government until the end of next month to address their demands for a salary review or face another strike.

Tendai Chikowore, president of the civil servants’ umbrella body, Apex Council, yesterday said government employees were getting impatient over their employer’s deafening silence over the matter.

She said early this year government had pledged to provide regular updates to civil servants’ representatives, but had failed to do so.

“The government still has not yet given us a response up to today. We have been engaging the National Joint Negotiating Council to try and organise another joint meeting with the government, but the government is not giving us any response,” Chikowore said.

“Ever since our last meeting earlier this year, issues such as revision of housing and transport allowances, awarding rural allowances and review of basic salaries were not addressed. In our memorandum of understanding with the government, we had made it clear that by the 1st of June we should have met, but there is still nothing,” she said.

“I can say that we will take action at the appropriate time, which is in the second half of the year if the government gives us a clear indication that they are not interested in addressing our issues.”

In January, government bowed to civil servants’ demand for a salary review and awarded them paltry increases of between $43 and $58 each.

The restive government employees have also roped in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe in a bid to address their plight without success.

Finance minister Tendai Biti has blamed the low salaries on low cash inflows from diamond proceeds.

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