Harare, (New Ziana) – Civil servants on Monday requested the government for additional allowances to cushion them against the spiraling cost of living in December for them to experience the festive season.
The request comes on the back of a surge in prices of goods and services, with a family of five, as at the end of October this year, expected to spend at least $3 160 on basic goods to not be deemed poor.
This is up from $2 912 in September, according to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency.
The lowest paid civil servant grosses $1 023 per month.
Civil servants, through their umbrella labour union, the Apex Council, requested government for an urgent National Joint Negotiating Council meeting to discuss the proposal.
“The Civil Service Apex Council would like to bring to your attention the further deteriorating value of civil service incomes in the light of spiraling inflation,” said Apex chairperson Cecilia Alexander in a letter to the employer.
“Civil servants are now severely incapacitated as the October salary of RTGS$1 023 for the lowest paid worker will not suffice for the December 2019 month end.”
While appreciating the bonus payments made late last month, Alexander said it would be unrealistic to expect workers to continue surviving on the same salary.
“The incapacitation of workers due to the disparity between incomes and prices will see the majority of civil servants prone to hunger and desperation,” she said.
“In light of the above scenario, the Apex Council would like to ask the Government of Zimbabwe to come up with a cushion for the month of December to allow for civil servants to experience Christmas.”