Govt tops up civil servants salaries
Harare, (New Ziana) – The government will this week top up civil servants salaries to cushion them from the high cost of living while ongoing pay review negotiations proceed, the Public Service Commission (PSC) said on Saturday.
The announcement comes after a declaration of financial incapacity by teachers, who are due to resume duty on Monday when schools start their gradual re-opening.
Without stating how much the workers would receive as a top up, PSC Secretary Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe said civil servants will start accessing the money next week.
“The Public Service Commission wishes to announce that, in the spirit of an understanding between government and its employees, government will proceed to pay, in addition to regular emoluments paid out earlier this week, what is available, while negotiations in the National Joint Negotiating Council continue,” said Ambassador Wutawunashe.
“This payment does not prejudice the negotiations, but seeks to cushion the workers in the interim, pending the conclusion of negotiations, particularly in view of the urgent need to support teachers who are going back to schools to prepare children for examinations.”
Public sector employees led by the civil service Apex Council have claimed talks for a substantive salary review under the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) were dragging for too long, with no agreement in sight as the workers insist on a United States dollar linked salary of a minimum of US$500.
The government on the other hand has said the demand was not feasible.
The PSC said government was committed to paying its workers “a living wage.”
While the poverty datum line for a family of five was ZWL$17 244 at the end of August, the lowest paid public sector worker earns less than half that amount.