Stung by the alleged quadrupling of salaries for top council management, ordinary Harare City Council workers are now demanding a six-fold rise in their earnings to beat inflation.
The least-paid council worker gets $1 000 while the bosses are believed to be pocketing an average of $25 000 following the increment.
The town clerk is understood to be earning $32 000 per month.
Harare Municipal Workers Union executive chairman Mr Cosmas Bungu told The Herald yesterday that most workers were wallowing in poverty, making a strong case for a review of their earnings.
"Council's senior management hiked their salaries by 300 percent and is in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the city's executive and the responsible authorities.
"Therefore, it is only fair that since the executive demands were met, the city should now do the same to their employees in grades 5 to 16 to curb and protect them from the harsh economic challenges our country is facing, by increasing their salaries by 500 percent," he said.
Mr Bungu said the existing salaries were demotivating as they were well below the poverty datum line, which was calculated at $3 656 in November last year.
As a result of the low salaries, workers are reportedly failing to show up for work every day, resulting in poor service delivery across the city. Mr Bungu wants council executives to ensure that workers get a "living wage".
"Salaries have to be above the poverty datum line. Considering that the City's leadership comes from the MDC-Alliance, whose formation was supported strongly by workers' union contributions to the Zimbabwe Congress Trade of Unions, we feel that the party is failing to recognise workers' rights.
"Quite clearly, the Government is now taking the lead in terms of employee remuneration, as it is constantly reviewing civil servants' salaries," said Mr Bungu.
Contacted for comment, City of Harare corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme said: "I can only comment when the matter has gone to council and has been deliberated on."