Govt Set To Resume Salary Negotiations With Workers

The Apex Council has said it expects to meet the Zimbabwean government next week to resume salary negotiations as teachers refused to return to work when schools reopened on the 28th of this month.

Government workers across sectors have since last year embarked on a spate of protests demanding for the restoration of their October 2018 salaries when the United States Dollar was equivalent to the local currency.

Some, particularly in the health sector, have deserted public health institutions citing potential exposure to the coronavirus and paltry salaries.

Cecilia Alexander, the chairperson of the Apex Council, an umbrella body for all government employees, argued that teachers will resume work after their grievances are resolved.

Alexander added that the parties agreed to resume talks on Wednesday “to pave way for the talks which will bring longlasting solutions”. She said:

We will be meeting government representatives including the labour minister [Paul Mavima] but the situation which is a bit worrying is that the meeting will not bring instant solutions to our problems as representatives don’t have decisionmaking powers.

They have to go and tell their principals and take back the answers to us.

That’s why we would have loved the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya and Finance and Economic Development minister Mthuli Ncube to be present to help us on exchange rates and our US$475 per month salary cap.

Meanwhile, the minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Paul Mavima told Business Times he hoped for long-lasting solutions at the meeting.

The government has been reviewing up the salaries, which are between US$30 and US$35 on average, but the skyrocketing inflation kept eroding the salaries at an unprecedented rate.

Employees say they are incapacitated to execute their duties and responsibilities as the salaries they get are not sustainable.

The employer subsidised mealie-meal and transport in a bid to cushion workers from the bumps of life, but, the strategies have so far proved to be ineffective.

More: Business Times

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