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'Wages up $570 from $441' government announced - liar, liar down $228 from $441

21 Mar 2019 at 14:42hrs | Views
"Government and civil servants yesterday sealed a salary accord after the employer improved its offer to the workers from $350 million to $400 million," reported Zimeye.

"This will translate to a salary increment of $129 across board effective April 1. The lowest paid worker in grade B1 will now be getting $570 up from $441."

Both government and Apex Council, the body that negotiated and signed the agreement on behave of the civil servants, are not being honest and truthful here. They are quoting the wages in dollars knowing fully well that in the past government has quoted the workers' wages in US$ but paid them in RTGS$, insisting the exchange rate was 1:1.

Ever since the RBZ governor's February Monetary Policy Statement, government has since adopted the RTGS$ as the official government currency and adjusted the exchange rate to 2.5:1 and so the grade B1 worker who was paid RTGS$ 441 = US$441 before the policy statement will now be paid RTGS$ 570 (441 + 129 increment) in April 2019 or US$ 228.

So the worker has just taken nearly a 50% wage cut!
The rate of inflation has started to soar again and is currently 59%, up from 10% or so three months ago. The RTGS$ is certain to lose its value relative to the US$ and other foreign currency. This is bad news, in a country 70% dependent on imported goods and services.

Apex Council chairperson Mrs Cecelia Alexander said negotiations will continue until the welfare of civil servants improved.

"Though we have our demands which we want met, at least this is a sign of fruitful dialogue which has culminated into this agreement," she said.

"As Apex Council we will continue negotiating with the employer and this agreement is subject to review in June. We have agreed that developments in the economy, whether positive or negative, will see the parties sitting on the table to dialogue."

The poverty datum line for a single family worker in Zimbabwe is US$650 per month. Our grade B1 worker has just been dragged from US$441 per month to US$ 228 per month in just one swipe and those negotiating on his/her behave tell the worker it was a "fruitful dialogue"!

In the Africa 2017 Wealth Report by New World Wealth, Zimbabwe was considered the poorest nation in Africa. So we are in a league of our own and yet we are still frantically determined to sink to new depths of economic depravity and despair.

Last week senior doctors at Zimbabwe's four referral hospitals gave government an ultimatum to address the shortages of bandages, medicine and other essentials or they will stop reporting for work. The situation is so bad that staff in burns-units, for example, have been forced to wash and use the same bandages! (The situation in the smaller provincial and district hospitals will be a lot worse, of course!)

Now the doctors, nurse and the rest of the health workers will be amused to hear that they are not only being asked to work in terrible conditions with no basic necessities but, worse still, their meagre salary will be cut by half with worse will follow!

Zimbabwe is in a serious economic and political mess and this is all a man-made disaster. For the last 38 years Zimbabweans have watched whilst Zanu PF thugs dragged the country deeper and deeper into this hell-on-earth. How long are we going to allow this madness to continue, is what I would want to know!   

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