BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
CIVIL servants have expressed dismay over government’s failure to increase their salaries to cushion them against inflation and the country’s weekly price rampage.
Since Monday this week, government has been dishing out salaries to its workers with zero increments, prompting the restless workforce to threaten a week-long job action from June 27, 2022.
In a statement yesterday Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said: “This is the week nurses, security forces and teachers get paid. Figures coming in indicate that it’s suffer continue for civil servants. Anyone who believes that government will suddenly become benevolent and give us a living wage is dreaming. We need to act.”
Government offered its workers a 20% salary increment in February this year and US$100 cash, which is deducted from their salaries, leaving the lowest paid worker getting at least $22 000 per month.
The teachers, under the banner of the Federation of Zimbabwe Educators Unions wrote to the Public Service Commission (PSC) on June 9, 2022 demanding a meeting to address the challenges.
PSC secretary Jonathan Wutawashe said he was in a meeting, while Public service minister Paul Mavhima was not answering calls yesterday.
Nurses have also threatened to take action against government’s failure to act on their concerns.
In a letter dated June 10, the Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union wrote to the Health Service Board demanding an urgent meeting to discuss issues around payment of salaries in US dollars and the re-opening of the negotiation forum through which they could deliberate on various issues of conditions of service, among others.
Health Service Board acting executive director Angelbert Mbengwa said the board was making “consultations” to address the issues raised by nurses.
“The board acknowledges receipt of your letter and notes your requests,” Mbengwa said.
“Consultations are in progress with relevant stakeholders in order to address the issue you have raised.”
But Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions secretary-general Japhet Moyo said government had failed to be exemplary among other employers on how workers should be treated.
“It appears like government has been in the forefront setting the pace in the wrong direction on labour issues. The government has been dragging its feet and the private sector has followed as it watches what the government is doing. The government seems mum, completely quiet and behaves as if they are not seeing what is actually happening in the market.”
“The employer is not accepting the reality on the ground that prices are galloping. As it is now, government has made it clear that it is in no hurry to review the workers’ salaries.”
Last week, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube dismissed claims that the country was battling an economic
“What crisis? We are performing well. We have put measures in place to fight inflation, people should not panic, and everything is in order, zvinhu zvese zvakarongeka (all is well),” Ncube told NewsDay.
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