SENIOR STAFF WRITER
CIVIL servants have rejected a 20 percent salary adjustment tabled by the government during yesterday’s National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) meeting in Harare, the Daily News reports.
This comes as teachers have been on strike since schools reopened in September demanding better working conditions.
Speaking to the Daily News after the meeting to discuss their conditions of service, deputy secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU), formerly the Apex Council, Gibson Mushangu described the government’s offer as “an insult”.
“From previous meetings, the government had offered 40 percent which we rejected, but they went on to implement it regardless.
“When they called us for today (yesterday)’s meeting, we anticipated that they had come up with a better offer that is commensurate with the cost of living.
“We were, however, shocked when the employer offered 20 percent, which would see the least paid civil servants earning $13 590, inclusive of allowances, while professionals who include teachers would get $15 077. We rejected that because it was way short of the minimum of US$360 we had demanded.
“We are going to sit down tomorrow (today) and give feedback to our constituency, which will then guide us on the way forward, which way forward we will communicate to the government,” Mushangu said.
Efforts to get a comment from Public Service minister Paul Mavima were unsuccessful yesterday as his phone went unanswered.
Civil servants were recently paid a 40 percent cost-of-living salary adjustment which they started receiving last month.
The adjustment was in addition to the continuation of the US$75 a month Covid-19 allowance they started receiving in June. They are now getting the allowance in local currency after conversion using the prevailing foreign currency auction rate.
The industrial action by teachers has paralysed learning, amid calls for the government to call off this year’s public examinations.
Nurses and doctors have also been pressing for better remuneration, particularly to have their salaries paid in US dollars.