THE Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU), a civil servants’ group, has petitioned government over the erosion of government workers’ salaries and gave notice of a nationwide full-blown strike next week if the salary issue was not resolved within seven days.
In its petition gleaned by witnessed NewsDay dated March 9, 2021 addressed to Public Service minister Paul Mavima, ZCPSTU president Cecilia Alexander said civil servants’ salaries had been severely eroded by inflation and needed to be reviewed.
“Government is wilfully disregarding the NJNC (National Joint Negotiation Council) resolution of December 2020 which stated that the NJNC would meet early January 2020 to craft a roadmap towards the restoration of the value of wages to the pre-October 2018 level,” the petition read in part.
“The ZCPSTU/Apex Council will within seven days from the date of this letter, notify the employer of an impending civil service-wide job action, and that such notification will be served to you in accordance with the laws of the land and in fulfilment of the desires of our members.”
Teachers’ unions also threatened that their members would not report for duty when schools open next week until government paid them salaries ranging from US$520 to US$550, or the equivalent in local currency.
They also expressed disgruntlement over being paid salaries that are way below those paid to the security forces.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou yesterday said teachers’ salaries ranged from $14 000 to $19 000, while soldiers, police and Central Intelligence Organisation officers reportedly earned well above $30 000.
“Government must restore the purchasing power parity of teachers’ salaries to pre-October 2018 levels of US$520 to US$550,” Zhou said in a statement.
Mavima recently told Parliament that government had no capacity to pay foreign currency-denominated salaries.
During the 2021 Parliament of Zimbabwe post-budget consultations, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube claimed that civil servants were the highest paid employees in the country.
Zimbabwe’s breadbasket for a family of six is now pegged at $25 000, according to recent data from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, amid reports that most families were surviving on less than a dollar a day.