‘Government will not bow to civil servants’ salary demands’

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THE government will not bow down to civil servants’ salary demands as doing so has the potential to upset the current price stability being experienced in the economy, a Cabinet minister has said.
This comes as teachers, who have been on strike since schools reopened in September, are demanding to be paid US$450 or its equivalent at the prevailing foreign currency auction rate.

Responding to a question in the Senate yesterday why the government was ignoring teachers’ salary demands, Public Service minister Paul Mavima said a lot has been done since the beginning of the year to improve their welfare.

“We have given them Covid-19 risk allowances… in June we also gave them another increase. “Recently, we gave
them a 40 percent increase, but they have maintained that they want to be paid US$450.

“In response, we gave them an additional 20 percent before we added another 10 percent until December after we considered the risk they are facing when they meet students,” Mavima said.

“We are doing so because the government has managed to ensure price stability, a positive step towards a middle income economy by 2030.

“So, it is not possible for us to give them that kind of money without upsetting the stability that we have achieved so
far.” Mavima also said the 10 percent risk allowance was only for teachers and expressed hope that the government would not scrap it after December.

“Considering all we have done, it means the lowest paid civil servant is now getting about $15 000, while teachers are now getting about $18 000,” he added.

This week, civil servants rejected a 20 percent salary adjustment offer tabled by the government during a National
Joint Negotiating Council meeting held in Harare.

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