A meeting was convened on Wednesday after the civil servants had rejected an increment proposed by the government.
Public Labour and Social Welfare Minister Dr Sekesai Nzenza had earlier claimed an agreement with the worker representatives would be reached on Tuesday or Wednesday.
On Monday, Minister of Finance and Economic Development said the government was ready to raise the salaries of the civil servants, and that all civil servants would receive a cushioning allowance to their salaries in the coming week.
“I have a (wage increase) figure already, and I’m just waiting to hear from the unions,” said the Finance Minister.
Yesterday members of the Defense Forces received their adjusted salaries together with the cushioning allowance. However, it was the concern raised by the workers, that the RTGS97.00 increment offered by the government, was way below the cost of living in the country given the prices of basic goods.
The National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC), a representative body of Government workers unions under APEX Council, held a meeting yesterday, with the Minister of Public Labour and Social Welfare, to discuss a possible figure that can protect workers from the stinging economic environment.
“From our calculations, what they were offering, one would get an average of about $97 which we feel fell far short of what we expected given the cost of living. As a result, we rejected the offer that came from our employer,” said Mrs. Alexander.
Raymond Majongwe, the Secretary-General of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) fumed on the RTGS97.00 offer.
“After working overtime to lobby Parliament over our poor salaries some of our Cdes did the unthinkable. Now, all we got was a $97 cushion. All these efforts reduced to dust,” voiced Majongwe.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association President Richard Gundani said teachers were no longer able to carry out their duties because of the prevailing economic situation and a meager salary they are given.
“We have indicated that our members are incapacitated to come to work. That was real and it has come to a situation where our teachers are failing to come to work. This is what we presented in today’s NJNC meeting. We have agreed to reconvene but we emphasised the need to address this issue as a matter of urgency,” said Gundani.
Due to the prevailing economic situation in Zimbabwe most civil servants are finding it difficult to survive especially with the ever-rising prices of basic commodities.
This has forced some government workers to go on ‘soft’ strike, with some in the health sector reporting to work only three days, necessitated by the expensive transport charges and the rising cost of living.
Last week a police officer made headlines on social media, he was caught after stealing a pack of sausage from TM Pick ‘n’ Pay. Many people accused the government of failing to support the welfare of its workers, hence such humiliating acts like the one by the police officer.
Many civil servants are keeping their fingers crossed hoping a favorable outcome will emerge from the Wednesday meeting.
SADCnews Zimbabwe Correspondent