Government will this year decompress grades of civil servants and start paying them according to experience, seniority and qualifications, Public Service Labour and Social Welfare Minister Nicholas Goche has said.
Minister Goche said de-bunching grades is already underway.
This comes amid reports that many civil servants, mainly those in the education sector, do not aspire to be promoted because the salary difference is insignificant and can be as little as US$1.
In their position paper on salary negotiations with Government, civil servants unions cite the decompression of grades as one of their grievances.
Minister Goche told The Herald that he tasked the Civil Service Commission to work on the anomaly after deliberations with Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa.
"This is an area of concern and I have tasked the CSC to rectify that and once the processes are through everyone will start being paid according to his qualification and experience. Minister Chinamasa has told us the extent to which he can manage and we are hardly working on that because surely a person must look forward to promotion."
Minister Goche said things went wrong during the formalisation of the multi-currency system in 2009 as every civil servant was initially paid a uniform US$100.
"Things were normal before that but Government failed when the multi-currency system was introduced because there were no funds to decompress the grades.
It is saddening that one can get a difference of US$3 if promoted from one grade to another and that needs to be corrected," he said.
Many companies have also failed to implement significant salary differences since 2009.
Currently, the difference between one step and the next for teachers under the D1 category (straight from college) is about US$1 per year, while they get an increment of US$5 after five years.
Civil servants union leaders yesterday said the de-bunching exercise was long overdue.
"This is an issue fundamental to our conditions of service," said Zimbabwe Teachers Association chief executive Mr Sifiso Ndlovu.
"This is what has been stalling the workers' motivation because there is no incentive in being promoted.
If one is a headmaster, deputy or senior teacher one should have something to show that. We hope that process will be expedited such that we have a motivated workforce."
Teachers Union of Zimbabwe chief executive Mr Manuel Nyawo said workers should be paid according to qualifications and experience.
"That are has been causing headaches to us since the multi-currency system started. Someone with a Master's degree has nothing to show in monetary value as he is paid the same amount with someone who has a diploma. The difference is next to nothing and there is no motivation at all," he said.
College Lecturers Association of Zimbabwe Mr David Dzatsunga said decompression of grades would see civil servants getting what they deserved.
"This is a welcome development we are looking forward to seeing being implemented," he said.
"It is one of the sour points that we needed addressed for people who have been loyal to the system for so many years."