Government says it is ready to engage civil servants' representatives over the possibility of another cost of living adjustment (COLA) to enable them to have a decent festive season.
While acknowledging the COLA paid in August and the 13th cheque awarded last month, the Civil Service Apex Council says earnings have since been eroded by price increases, making another review necessary.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima told The Herald that Government was ready to engage its workers and had already scheduled an engagement with civil servants' representatives for next week.
The Apex Council had written a letter to the Public Service Commission (PSC) requesting a National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) meeting on a cushioning allowance for December.
"The Civil Service Apex Council would like to bring to your attention the further deteriorating value of civil service incomes in the light of the spiralling inflation.
"Civil servants are now severely incapacitated as the October salary of $1 023 for the lowest paid worker will not suffice for the December 2019 month-end.
"While the 2019 bonus payment helped lessen the suffering, it is inconceivable that workers will survive on the October salary. The incapacitation of workers due to the disparity between incomes and prices will see the majority of civil servants prone to hunger and desperation," reads the letter dated November 29.
Prof Mavima expressed Government's willingness for engagement saying: "We will comply. We need dialogue. Our side will organise. I am also due to meet with them on Wednesday next week as the entirety of the labour group."
He said the meeting with the rest of the labour group was also for "familiarisation" since he was a new minister.
Civil servants have been engaging Government for the better part of the year seeking a COLA in light of constant price hikes.
Government on its part has pledged to address the challenges through economic reforms that seek to rebalance the economy and thrust it on a growth trajectory.
Civil servants have already been granted a cost of living adjustment twice this year -- in April and August.