Civil servants push for US dollarsalaries




APEX civil servants

CIVIL servants are lobbying Government to pay their salaries in foreign currency saying forex bonuses they received have given them confidence that it is possible to get their earnings in hard currency.

Treasury released US$120 million to pay civil servants bonuses last month as part of the measures to cushion them against rising inflation.

On Tuesday, Apex council, an umbrella body that represents civil servants and Government representatives held a National Joint Negotiating Committee (NJNC) meeting to deliberate on the welfare of Government workers.

Apex council president Mrs Cecelia Alexander yesterday said during the meeting workers restated the need to be paid salaries in foreign currency.

“We had a meeting with the Government team and we stated that we want our salaries to be paid in foreign currency.

“We are waiting for Government response. The Government negotiating team indicated that it will come back to us early next month.

“Our position is that our salaries should be pegged based on the October 2018 value when a teacher was being paid US$528 and US$440 for the least paid in Government,” said Mrs Alexander.

She said employees appreciate that Government was in the past unable to pay salaries in forex due to other obligations.

Mrs Alexander however said the payment of bonuses in forex was a confirmation that Government now has capacity to pay salaries in forex.

She said civil servants appreciate the efforts that have been made to address transport challenges through increasing Public Service Commission buses.

“We are still tabling other non-monetary incentives like stands and houses. There are several promises that have been made but nothing has materialised,” said Mrs Alexander.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima said Government is yet to deliberate on the issues that were raised during the NJNC meeting.

“I’m yet to get a report from the Government’s team, if I get it, we will consider those demands and then we will see what is possible.

Government might not be able to meet some of the demands due to resources constraints,” said Minister Mavima.

Earlier this month, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said Government will continue paying its employees in local currency.

“No (We are not going to pay salaries in US dollar.) This is a once off gesture from His Excellency, just to deal with inflationary pressures that we saw emerging in this last quarter.

“We will continue to pay our normal salaries in Zimbabwe dollars,” said Prof Ncube. — Herald