CIVIL servants are today expected to engage their employer in a make or break meeting to address their remuneration as calls for industrial action get louder.’
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The government has on many occasions conceded to calls to increase salaries for its workers although the adjustment has always fallen short of expectations.
Today’s meeting between the Apex Council and the government is set to review the ZW$97 adjustment offered by government against demands to peg the salaries as of October last year in United States dollar terms to the current interbank rate.
This will see the least paid worker getting at least ZW$3 000.
Apex Council secretary David Dzatsunga confirmed today’s meeting after a similar one failed to kick off last week.
“We are going to discuss the cost of living adjustment. The meeting is a follow-up to the previous meeting where government offered ZW$97,” Dzatsunga said.
“We are now going to look at their revised offer and our actions going forward will be based on that offer, whether it fits into our demands. We believe the cost of living adjustment should be premised on the food basket. ZW$97 is far from what we are looking for. Our income has been eroded and we are demanding that we take our earnings as of October last year and then multiply (it) by the interbank rate.”
Asked what action they are likely to take if the government fails to give another offer, Dzatsunga said although they might declare a deadlock, they will consult their members before taking any action.
“We may have to declare a deadlock, but we have to listen to them [government] first. Definitely we have plans. If the offer is not what we are expecting then we will go back to consult our members.
“The truth of the matter is that workers are incapacitated. When things are like this it is difficult for us to go to work. People cannot afford it and we want this addressed in our make or break meeting with government,” he said.
While Dzatsunga spoke of hearing the government’s side before taking action, others within Apex Council said they are pushing for industrial action if negotiations fail to yield results.
They claim they have been patient enough with government which has failed to play its part.
Today’s meeting comes hot on the heels of the continued increase in prices, pushing the cost of living further upwards.