Harare (New Ziana)-Government workers on Wednesday welcomed the new salary perks which the government announced on Tuesday, describing it as a ‘milestone’ which paves way for further negotiations to improve the package.
The government on Tuesday awarded civil servants a 20 percent salary increment across the board backdated to January, while increasing the US dollar component of their pay to $175 per month.
Civil servants, who have been agitating for full US$ denominated salaries, were already getting a US$75 Covid-19 allowance.
The government also introduced an advancement award, which recognises seniority for differentiation within the same grade which will see experienced staff being paid more than the recently hired.
Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) president Cecilia Alexander told New Ziana that they were happy that the government acceded to their demand for at least a hybrid pay scale which includes both local and foreign currency.
“As negotiators, what we have appreciated is the principle of paying part of our salaries in US dollars. I believe it’s a milestone because all along, we have been pushing government to at least pay our salaries in US dollars or part of it.
“We will work towards improving the US$175 but what is coming up as a major concern is the effective date. We
will be meeting either on Friday or early next week as the National Joint Negotiating Council where both parties are going to look at the offer and polish it with the view of settling or coming up with an agreement,” she said.
Alexander said there was still room to raise other concerns coming from workers at the NJNC meeting.
“But as the chief negotiator, this is a milestone. Negotiations had reached an impasse and this is now coming in as a gesture from the President to try and address the issues so we say give us whatever you have, then improve it. We request that they bring the effective date forward,” she said.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association president Richard Gundani said: “We would like to embrace the principle of a hybrid salary where there is an important part of the US dollar component to the remuneration.
“We would like to observe that while these figures are still way too low and below acceptable amounts, it is the goodwill that we like to observe and embrace.”