BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
GOVERNMENT says it will consider increasing the United States dollar component paid to public workers in September and also review the portion paid in local currency.
This was revealed yesterday by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube at a meeting with representatives of public service trade unions to discuss salaries and conditions of service.
Government workers are demanding salaries in US dollars owing to the rising inflation that has eroded their local currency salaries.
Civil servants are currently allowed to withdraw US$100 from their Zimdollar salaries and are given another US$75 as COVID-19 allowances.
Civil servants abandon salary talks
In a statement, Zimbabwe Congress of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) said: “The Minister of Finance in response stressed that government treats the welfare of civil servants as a priority but was unequivocal that government does not yet have the capacity to pay the entire salary bill in US dollars. Government will, however, review the situation in September to see if there is scope to increase the US and as well the Zimdollar components premised on revenue inflows. He did not rule out the possibility of part US dollar salaries though, but was cautious to commit himself.”
The workers also raised concerns over the disparities on the Government Employees Mutual Savings and pension schemes offered by the employer, which Ncube promised to address.
“The workers were able to demonstrate the desperate situation regarding their survival and challenged the minister to find a plan to safeguard the value of wages so that they can be able to reproduce themselves for the good of country,” ZCPSTU said.
In an interview with NewsDay, ZCPSTU secretary-general David Dzatsunga said yesterday’s meeting gave the workers hope that government was committed to addressing their concerns.
“From today’s meeting, there is hope that government can consider increasing our US salary component,” he said.
“It is a step ahead though we continue calling for government to own up to its pledges to address our concerns.”
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