Government workers Tuesday expressed anger on the government after it had announced that the state will give US$500 in funeral assistance to families of civil servants who would have died.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) described the gesture as “insensitive” suggesting that the government should rather address the workers’ salary issue instead of offering the funeral assistance.
ZCTU’s resident, Peter Moyo, said workers deserve some respect, better lives and “not better burials.”
His remarks were echoed by Raymond Majongwe the secretary-general of the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe who told ZimLive that workers wanted better living standards. He said:
They (government) are simply saying we should smile all the way to our graves and not our banks. It’s very unfortunate that the government is planning more on our funerals than our present conditions of living.
We want better living and working conditions, not death conditions. Our take is that there’s nothing compassionate about splurging on an employee when he or she passes on. True compassion will be seen when you start paying a living salary to our members.
This comes when government workers have since last year embarked on a spate of protests over poor salaries and poor working conditions.
Scores of health caregivers in the public sector embarked on protests and some ended deserting public institutions opting for privately owned one which offered attractive remuneration and working conditions.
Meanwhile, teachers have not returned to work since the reopening of schools on 28 October demanding the restoration of their 2018 salaries (US$500).
They are currently earning about US$30 per month.
The government has for a sustained period of time failed to come up with a way to resolve the impasse it has with workers.