Harare- The Zimbabwe government says it will pay its workers a 40 percent cost of living adjustment while negotiations continue for a more sustainable pay rise.
The announcement comes at a time teachers have downed tools owing to poor remuneration. Health workers have also been on industrial action citing poor wages and working conditions.
Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa made the announcement on Thursday as the government tried to break a strike by teachers after schools opened for exam-sitting classes this week.
Teachers and healthcare workers are demanding United States dollar salaries of US$520 for the lowest paid, and have accused the government of negotiating in bad faith.
“The government is aware of the challenges facing civil servants including teachers and is committed to improving the welfare of its workers, Consultations are currently underway to consider the request by the Apex Council in the last negotiating meeting held with the government. On its part, the government has maintained the US$75 Covid-19 allowance up to the end of December and the 40 percent cost of living adjustment, which the workers have requested the government to improve, has been paid and will reflect in civil servants’ accounts by end of day on tomorrow (Friday).” Mutsvangwa said
Teachers who earn Z$3,500 (about US$42) per month have already rejected the 40 percent increment as insulting, pointing out it hardly matches inflation which is above 700 percent and is no answer to rampant price increases.
“Normally, the government does not effect salary adjustments without a signed agreement, but we have had to go out of our way to cushion our dedicated workers,” Mutsvangwa said “Meanwhile, negotiations at the National Joint Negotiating Council will continue and any agreement arrived at will be honoured in the spirit of collective bargaining… I appeal to civil servants to be patient and allow negotiations to be concluded.”
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