Zimbabwe Public workers accept govt pay rise offer

Celia Alexander, Apex Council Chairperson

THE National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) yesterday provisionally agreed that Government would pay civil servants a cost of living adjustment (COLA) ranging from 50 percent to 76 percent of their gross salaries to be effected on a sliding scale. A 76 percent increase will see the lowest paid worker earning $1 023 up from $582.

The civil servants yesterday insisted that their demand of $4 750 per month for the lowest paid worker still stands.

In a statement after the NJNC meeting last night, Apex Council president, Mrs Cecilia Alexander, confirmed the development saying negotiations will continue, taking into consideration the cost of living and prevailing economic situation.

“The NJNC has provisionally agreed that Government will pay civil servants a cost of living adjustment ranging from 50 percent to 76 percent of the total package to be effected on a sliding scale,” said Mrs Alexander.

The total package includes basic salary, transport allowance, housing allowance, special civil service allowance and representation where applicable.

“It must be reiterated that this is a provisional agreement meant first and foremost to allow the Government to cushion impoverished workers. Our substantive demand of $4 750 still stands and negotiations will continue towards that end,” said Mrs Alexander.

According to the provisional agreement, the money should be paid by August 31.

Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) president, Mr Richard Gundane, urged Government to immediately deposit the COLA and rescue teachers from incapacitation.

“Teachers are between a rock and a hard surface. This is why the increment has to be paid as soon as possible. The gap between the living wage and the new salaries is still very wide. 

“It’s important that further negotiations, in good faith, be held to close the gap. A serious commitment has to be made by Government to close the gap as soon as possible and rescue teachers from incapacitation as well as ensure the attainment of quality education in the country,” said Mr Gundane.

The salary increment comes at a time when Government has said all civil servants will get their bonuses for the year in November, with Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube conceding that since the introduction of Statutory Instrument (SI) 142 of 2019, also known as Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Legal Tender) Regulations, wage and salary erosion were now a big challenge, hence the need to continuously adjust wages and salaries.

Last month, Government implemented another once off cushioning allowance which saw civil servants getting $400 on top of their monthly salaries. — Chronicle