Sunday, 22 September 2019

CIVIL SERVANTS DEMAND FRESH PAY TALKS


CIVIL servants are pushing for a new round of salary negotiations with the Government as prices of goods and services continue to increase, eroding their cost of living adjustments (COLA).

Government last month increased civil servants’ salaries by up to 76 percent, a development that saw the lowest paid worker earning $1 023 up from $582.

Civil servants were demanding at least $4 750 for the lowest paid worker. Prices of basic commodities have continued to increase, pushing the prices beyond the reach of many.

In an interview yesterday Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) Mr Richard Gundane said the price increases defeated the efforts in negotiating for salary increases for teachers and other civil servants.

He called on the Government to consider monthly adjustments to close the gap for the workers.

“We’re pressing for a new round of salary talks following the recent increases in the prices of goods and services. They have rendered the cost of living adjustments a non-event. 

“Teachers are worse off after the COLA. In this hyperinflationary environment, monthly adjustments would assist in closing the gap between salary and prices,” said Mr Gundane.

Zimta chief executive officer Mr Sifiso Ndlovu said there was a need for a meeting so that civil servants could present the additional challenges that workers are facing.

“In terms of immediate relief for the workers, nothing has been said by the Government although we’ve been putting pressure on the negotiators to call for a meeting so that we give new evidence to the employer on the challenges that are faced by the workers.

“On Thursday there was a discussion on the workers’ salaries as the Government was already working on the 2020 budget. We’ll get feedback from the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare,” said Mr Ndlovu.

Meanwhile, chairperson of the Apex Council Mrs Cecilia Alexander and her deputy Mr Thomas Muzondo have left for Kenya on a study tour of the Kenyan bargaining council system for the civil service this week.

Officials from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare will also be part of the tour. 

Mr Ndlovu confirmed the tour, saying it was important for representatives of Government workers to learn from the bargaining processes of other countries.

Apart from the various monetary incentives to cushion the civil servants, Government has promised to offer non-monetary incentives. Herald

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