Urban council workers demand US$ salaries

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BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
THE Zimbabwe Urban Council Workers Union (ZUCWU) has written to all urban councils demanding United States dollar salaries for council workers to hedge them against inflation.

ZUCWU general-secretary Kudakwashe Munengiwa said local authorities were public entities and should take a cue from central government which recently resuscitated United States dollar COVID-19 allowances for civil servants.

“Reference is made to the recent developments of the directive on the implementation of the payment of US$75 COVID-19 risk allowance to civil servants and US$30 to pensioners in hard currency, which is following the payment of civil servants’ bonuses in the same,” Munengiwa said last week in a letter copied to mayors, town clerks and local board secretaries.

“Bearing in mind that local authorities are also public entities, we implore you to follow the government’s leadership on the same.

“It is public knowledge that local authorities are charging some of their services in US dollars and accepting the same currency for payments at a rate that is at their discretion and not necessarily the formal Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe prescribed rate.

“It is on that note that we are requesting that local authority employees be paid at least 50% of their salaries in hard currency.”

Urban Councils’ Association of Zimbabwe president Josiah Makombe, who was also Gweru mayor before being recalled by the MDC-T, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

In recent years, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has been calling on government to revert to the US dollar salary regime as local currency salaries were being eroded by inflation.

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