PRESIDENT EMMERSON MNANGAGWA’S government has moved in to cushion civil servants increasing salaries by between 45 percent to 50 percent as it fulfils a promise to stagger the wage increment for employees
Apex Council chairperson, Mrs Cecelia Alexander said Government has honoured the pledge it made earlier this year.
“Yes, it has been implemented (salary increments). They have paid the 45 percent increment but it’s an increment that we had not reached an agreement on. And looking at the prevailing environment we can only accept the payments and hope that as soon as the Covid-19 situation improves, we want to get back to the matter because 45 percent is not what we can settle for,” said Mrs Alexander.
“This is an amount that was proposed by Government, it came as a 70 percent which was supposed to be staggered; 25 percent and 45 percent which they paid now. But to us it’s an issue and we hope that as soon as the situation stabilises, we would get back to the negotiating table.”
She said the rising Covid-19 infections are affecting the negotiation processes.
In response to a letter from the Zimta CEO, President Mnangagwa in April said he is touched by the plight of teachers and Government acknowledges that there is a need to improve civil servants’ remuneration.
The President said while Government is working to address civil servants’ income concerns, it is implementing policies that are against triggering hyper-inflation.
He said Covid-19 has affected Government programmes as it has led to depressed revenue inflows as a result of national lockdowns.
President Mnangagwa said despite those challenges, he has instructed ministries to come up with modalities that would result in the gradual improvement of civil servants’ salaries.
In April, Government increased civil servants’ salaries by 25 percent and committed to further increase the salaries mid-year.
Further, Government has availed numerous non-monentary incentives to cushion workers.
Civil servants’ unions yesterday confirmed that members have received a salary increment this month.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Deputy Minister Lovemore Matuke said the civil servants’ salary increment is part of Government’s commitment to addressing their welfare issues.
He said Government will continue to fine-tune the non-monetary benefits of employees as it embarks on creating a conducive environment for workers.
“There are loans being provided to civil servants so that they can start businesses, there was also a vehicle scheme to import vehicles duty free, this has been rolling for about 10 years and is pending renewal.
“We also are looking into the issue of housing. We are working on providing civil servants with accommodation and this is gradually happening. There are a number of options and some of the options will be coming from their unions suggesting how we can improve their welfare but on the side of Government we welcome all suggestions that will benefit our employees,” he said.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) chief executive officer Dr Sifiso Ndlovu said he has also been notified that the lowest grades in public service received a 50 percent salary increment, more than the pledged 45 percent.
“Judging from the gross figures that I have seen, they have slightly gone beyond their promise in the general terms but in the specifics it’s not. The talk in general is that the increment would be 45 percent but they have effected a 50 percent increment. Meaning this is a sliding scale and how that sliding scale will affect the teacher is what we need to discuss and fine tune in the consultative process,” said Dr Ndlovu.
He said President Mnangagwa had highlighted the pay rise when he responded to a letter they wrote to him.
“We are aware of that position and as an association we received that confirmation from His Excellency. What has not been given are finer details to the beneficiaries who are the workers,” he said.
Dr Ndlovu said civil servants want to be more involved in decisions made on their welfare.
“I would say while that award is coming out of the previous negotiations, the future awards should be founded on collective bargaining. This is where they are running short in terms of creating the correct legal environment for consultation, negotiation and coordination of the results that we are looking for,” said Dr Ndlovu.