BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
TODAY’S crunch meeting between government and its restive workers to discuss salary adjustments in response to the rising cost of living has been postponed to a later date after President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration requested for more time to prepare for the dialogue.
Apex Council secretary David Dzatsunga told NewsDay that their employer deferred the meeting to next week.
“We received a communique from our chairperson Cecilia Alexander that the government had asked for time to a date next week to prepare for the meeting,” he said.
“We want to discuss the cost of living adjustments with the government and the issue of quantum of our salaries. We are demanding $3 000 and we want to know what the government is offering since the $300 million facility they gave us last time was to cover the period from April to December last year.”
Dzatsunga said the $300 million facility given by the government was not enough and had incapacitated them.
The Apex Council secretary said they would demand various allowances for senior master, infant school teachers, teachers specialising on students with disabilities, sports, workshop and examination and others.
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou said the postponement showed government’s insincerity.
“The postponement shows that government is not sincere about civil servants’ welfare. It shows what they have always been doing to perpetuate the situation. It is unfortunate that the Apex Council is captured by the government as you can see that they were also appointed by the same government. They are not on the workers’ side, but are dining with the paymaster,” Zhou said.
“By agreeing to postpone a meeting, which we treat as an urgent matter, Apex perpetuates and prolongs the suffering of civil servants in the country. It is also unfortunate that we are dealing with an arrogant government.”
Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association president Richard Gundani was not reachable for comment.
The teachers’ unions last week threatened to mobilise for a full-blown strike if the government does not urgently revise their salaries to a minimum of $3 000 per month, after devaluing the real time gross settlement currency.
Teachers last month briefly stopped reporting for duty, demanding an improvement in their working conditions, but later called off the strike after government indicated that it had no capacity to meet their
Civil servants are among the country’s least paid workers.