By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Civil servants have rejected, as too little, a 50% government increase on their salaries and they vowed to continue with the plan for a mass demonstration set for June 22.
In a statement, the Ministry of Finance said civil servants’ salaries and pensioners’ allowances will be adjusted upwards by 50% and also advised them to immediately open United States Dollar-denominated nostro bank accounts with their banks to facilitate the processing of additional COVID-19 allowances of USD75.00.
“In addition, all civil servants will be paid a flat, non-taxable COVID-19 allowance of USD75.00 per month. Government pensioners will be paid a flat non taxable COVID-19 allowance of US$30.00 per month.
“Government has taken due regard of the fact that addressing the wage challenges faced across the civil service, any salary reviews will need to be done with a holistic framework in order to ensure that such a review does not impose a negative shock in the market. The interim arrangement is for a period of three months from June 2020.
Ministry of Finance, the government would again carry out an assessment of the impact of the salary review on the nation’s budget.
“Government reiterates its commitment to payment of a living wage to its employees, whilst ensuring sustainability of the budget.
“Government is also widening the remuneration framework for civil servants to introduce significant non-monetary benefits and these will be announced in due course,” read the statement.
The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) has rejected the offer as too low.
“Our members have rejected this offer. We still demand our 2017 salaries, USD 520. We are consulting other Teacher Unions for possible joint actions. The 22 June protest will go ahead as scheduled,” Artuz said in a statement.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) said “too late, too little. We need an inclusive economic reform agenda that addresses economic fundamentals. Workers deserve decent salaries MAZEPE aya,” ZCTU said in a statement.
The announcement came at a time when health workers were staging a peaceful demonstration at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare, expressing their dismay over the recent unannounced salary cuts.
The civil servants, through their trade unions have planned to stage a mass demonstration on June 22.
Recently, the International Monetary Fund said Zimbabwe was facing an “economic and humanitarian crisis” amid a lethal cocktail of macroeconomic instability, climate shocks and policy missteps. Nehanda Radio