Govt workers reject 75% pay increase offer

LIVINGSTONE MARUFU

Government workers have rejected a 75% salary increment offer saying it fell short of their demands.

They say the cost of living continues to rise with the monthly basket for a family of six now surpassing ZWL$30,000, a union leader said this week.

The civil servants want their salaries to be restored to October 2018 levels in which they averaged US$500 per month.

They also claim that the government offered the increment through social media.

Apex Council spokesperson and deputy secretary Gibson Mushangu told Business Times that an offer without consultation was a non-event, adding the government workers would not recognise that offer.

Apex is a civil service body which represents 15 trade unions.

“Government should show its desire to negotiate in good faith by quickly convening a meeting where we will discuss what we have to discuss in a formal manner rather than communicating on a social media platform. Communicating through social media would not be prudent enough especially when discussing issues of such paramount importance,” Mushangu said.

Mushangu claimed that there was no formal communication done and government workers read about the offer on social media.

This prompted the Apex Council to reply through the same platform.

He said there was a need for a formal meeting so that all parties can pursue what was agreed in the last National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) meeting in November 2020.

“In November last year,  we agreed that before January ends we would have a meeting to cast a roadmap towards the restoration of October 2018 salaries but the government has gone mum on the issue and has decided to put an insignificant amount of RTGS in our accounts without consultations,” Mushangu said.

“So next time when we convene, we will not accept anything apart from our October 2018 United States dollars’ salaries of above US$500 per month.”

Cabinet has approved a 75% pay increment offer for civil servants, with 25% salary bump expected this month, which will be followed by a 50% pay increase in June.

“We can’t even recognise the 75% increment offer as we were not communicated to and we are in the dark as we don’t know what they are offering. We just heard an offer of 25% communicated through a letter but this roadmap of 50% to 75% we don’t know. When we are not communicated to, we will remain ignorant of their offer,” Mushangu said.

He said the offer was not speaking to civil servants’ position paper.

“We just see the 75% increment offer as rumours. Tomorrow they will change the goal posts and reject having offered you the same amount,” Mushangu said.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima said the NJNC meeting will convene soon and they will assess the response from the civil servants whether or not they have accepted the offer.

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