Friday, 8 May 2020

WORKERS WAGES ERODED, SAYS MINISTER


GOVERNMENT yesterday confirmed that it is working with social partners including business and labour on a new salary structure for workers following the erosion of wages and salaries by inflation.

Government has repeatedly said it is alive to the fact that workers’ wages and salaries including that of civil servants which were last reviewed early this year, have been eroded by inflation.

The wages and salaries are as a result lagging far behind the prices of even basic commodities hence workers are finding it difficult to fend for their families.

The process of aligning wages and prices has been affected by currency instability and the three-tier pricing system used by some businesses.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima said in an interview on Thursday that there are on-going salary and wages negotiations in a bid to come up with a more stable salary structure to cushion workers against rising inflation.

“We would really want to see a macro-economic stability whereby salary negotiations are done once a year or even after two years. At the moment we have to constantly review salaries and wages to keep up with rising inflation. If we don’t do that we will be shooting ourselves in the foot as salaries and wages will be eroded by inflation,” he said.

Prof Mavima said Government and other members of the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) were working together to address the issue of wages and salaries.

“You know the National Joint Negotiating Council reached an agreement in February this year. There was a compromise where they said Minister go ahead and set what can be considered a minimum wage and I think we have just gazetted a minimum wage for people in the unclassified sectors including domestic workers. So, we have to continuously review. The Government is really alive to the fact that there is ongoing erosion of wages and salaries and we need to continue to review,” he said.

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