HomeLocalNo agreement on civil servants pay: Tsvangirai

No agreement on civil servants pay: Tsvangirai

On Friday, the Apex council which represents all government workers in salary negotiations announced the Negotiating Joint Council had agreed that the least paid civil servant will get US$253 a month.

Tsvangirai told The Standard in an interview that he was shocked to read about the salary adjustments in the newspapers.

He said the increment was not enough since it was still far below the poverty datum line (PDL), which is estimated at US$502.

“What I can say is that US$31 is not adequate considering that if you get 50% below the PDL, it explains how inadequate the increment is,” he said.
“What I am aware of is that we were in the process of engaging relevant ministries on a wage that is at least 50% of the PDL.”

The salary review came as a surprise since Finance Minister Tendai Biti has insisted that Treasury cannot sustain an increment at the moment because revenue inflows were depressed.

Biti and the Minister of Public Service Eliphas Mukonoweshuro were not available for comment.

Meanwhile, teachers yesterday said they will suspend their 11-day strike to consider the government’s offer of a pay rise that fell nearly 90% short of their demands.

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) went on strike on June 22 to demand that the government raise their salaries from the current $200 a month to US$500 a month.

Government late Friday offered teachers an average increase of US$34, said union leader.

“The award by government of an average of US$34 dollars falls far short of our expectations,” PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou said.

“We will go back and re-strategise and get ready to fight another day. There are a number of issues that should be addressed, including the issues of transport and housing allowances,” he said, adding that teachers would return to the classroom on Monday.

The strike was only partially observed as the rival Zimbabwe Teachers Association, which is aligned with veteran President Robert Mugabe, had discouraged teachers from joining the stayaway.

Many have left the country to work overseas, while those who have remained behind often resort to moonlighting as small-time traders to supplement their pay.

Teachers also want a review of their housing and transport allowance and the removal of “ghost workers” from the government payroll.

Zimbabwe has 105,000 teachers on the payroll, but Zhou’s union estimates only about 77,000 are working. Additional reporting by AFP.

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