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Fresh civil servants salary talks

by Staff reporter
04 Jun 2019 at 07:09hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has invited the Apex Council for fresh civil servants salary talks tomorrow (Wednesday) after indicating that salaries would be adjusted against the prevailing inflation levels not the foreign currency exchange rate.

In March, civil servants received a salary increase of RTGS$400 million as part of their cost of living adjustment, with Government promising another review of salaries this month.

In an interview yesterday, Apex Council president Mrs Cecilia Alexander confirmed that the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) would sit tomorrow to discuss an adjustment of civil servants' salaries.

She said the Apex Council would sit today to agree on proposals they will present to Government as requested by the workers.  

"The Government has written to the Apex Council inviting us for a meeting on Wednesday. The main issue on the agenda is reviewing civil servants' salaries. Apex Council will sit on Tuesday to discuss and agree on the salary increment that the civil servants want. Previously we had set the minimum salary at RTGS$1 700. We'll definitely demand more than that because it's no longer adequate due to the prevailing situation," said Mrs Alexander.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza could not be reached for comment yesterday as her mobile phone was not reachable. Last week her deputy, Lovemore Matuke said Government was committed to improving the living conditions of civil servants by supporting them with both monetary and non-monetary benefits.

He said the Government was aware that the economic situation was not favourable for civil servants hence the need for adjustment of their salaries.  

Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube last week told Parliament that Government would continue to engage civil servants and adjust their salaries against the prevailing inflation levels not the foreign currency exchange rate.

 Prof Ncube said the Government could not benchmark its workers' salaries on the RTGS dollar exchange rate to the United States currency.

Under the RTGS$400 million pay deal, a civil servant who was earning RTGS$441 is now getting RTGS$570, while those who were earning RTGS$519 are now earning RTGS$649.

The salary increases ranged from 13 percent to 25 percent according to grades.  Initially, civil servants were demanding a minimum salary of RTGS$1 700, arguing that the local currency had lost value, while prices of goods and services were going up on a weekly basis.

Government has been putting in place measures to improve the welfare of its employees.

Recently, civil servants got the green light to import vehicles duty-free as part of non-monetary incentives.  The duty-free scheme is covered by Statutory Instrument 52 of 2019 and will see those with 10 years in service qualifying.

 In addition, a $60 million housing facility for civil servants was unveiled as part of the non-monetary incentives.

Source - chroncile