Civil servants, government meet over salaries

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THE government is set to meet with civil servants today over salaries and perks under the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC).
The NJNC has since written to Apex Council chairperson Cecilia Alexander and her deputy Thomas Muzondo advising them of the meeting.
“The chairperson of the National Joint Negotiating Council invites members to a meeting to be held on Monday June 29, 2020 at 1030hrs in the … Kaguvi Building,” NJNC said in the letter.
According to the letter, the meeting would ventilate on new issues, the minutes of the previous meeting, with both the government and workers being allowed to present their sides of the story.
Civil servants demanded full United States (US) dollar-based salaries after the government over a week ago awarded them a US$75 coronavirus (Covid-19) allowance and a 50 percent salary increment.
Workers argued that they were not consulted on the new salary structure, even though it was part of the agreement that any increment would be negotiated.
Apex Council said while the government had taken a step in the right direction, it was not happy that there were no negotiations through NJNC as was agreed during a meeting in January.
The government’s decision to make part payments in US dollars comes as the country’s battered economy is fast approaching the horrors of a decade ago when the Zimbabwe dollar was decimated by hyper-inflation, with the prices of most basic goods now out of reach of ordinary citizens.
The government workers have been demanding a US$550 monthly salary, which is equivalent to what they were getting in October 2017.
The government had agreed to review civil servants’ salaries after every four months. The last time the salaries had been reviewed was in January, with the next meeting having been scheduled for April. However, this was affected by the Covid-19-induced lockdown.

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