Zimbabwe: Govt, Workers Cut Salary Deal

Harare (file photo).
28 January 2020

Government and its workers yesterday agreed on an increased pay package, understood to be more than double the salary of the lowest paid, but failed to agree on when it will get into effect.

The Apex Council -- an umbrella body representing all civil servants -- wants the new pay scales backdated to January 1 this year, but Government wants to stagger the increase over several months with the full new scales coming into effect in April.

A meeting was held in Victoria Falls yesterday between the Apex Council and a nine-member team seconded by Government under the National Joint Negotiating Forum.

After the meeting, Apex Council secretary-general Mr David Dzatsunga said they agreed on the new package.

"We agreed to disagree," he said. "As the Apex Council, we want the new package to be effected from 1 January, 2020 and Government is saying it can stagger the payment up to April. We said that is not possible in this hyper-inflation environment. We agree to wait and see what will happen because we could not sign for that staggered arrangement.

"The ball is now in the Government's court because these workers are working for the same Government. They have children who are not going to school now and it's a cross that the employer should carry and see to it that the welfare of its workers is taken care of."

Mr Dzatsunga refused to reveal the package offered by the Government, saying doing so would lead to speculative tendencies on the market.

However, it is speculated that the new pay offer will see the least-paid Government worker earning at least $2 200 a month.

Asked on their next move, Mr Dzatsunga said: "We believe Government has to do something if they want this country to work. They have to come with a survival package for the workers. The workers are struggling and Government as the employer should be sensitive to the plight of its workers."

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