Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima has pleaded with civil servants to exercise patience, saying the government is committed to improving their conditions of service in line with the prevailing economic environment.
Mavima said the Government will increase civil servants’ salaries guided by stabilisation of the economy which will take a bit of time to achieve due to fiscal limitations.
This comes after the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education revealed that some teachers, who make up the bulk of civil servants, were not reporting for duty citing incapacitation. Said Mavima:
We call upon civil servants to be patient with the Government which is committed to improving their conditions of service.
Government is committed to reviewing their salaries in line with the prevailing economic conditions.
The review of salaries will be a continuous process through quarterly meetings of the National Joint Negotiation Council.
Teachers are pushing for the restoration of the pre-October 2018 salaries that were pegged at over US$500 per month or the equivalent in Zimbabwe dollars.
Mavima admitted that the slashing of civil servants’ salaries in October 2018 has become a bone of contention between the government and its workers. He said:
The so-called bad blood emanated from the monetary changes that took place in 2018 when the Government was on a stabilisation programme.
Due to fiscal limitations, it will take a while to claw back to 2018 salary and wage levels and we remain committed to improving their conditions of service. There is a need for patience on the part of employees.
Government is sincere in making sure that there will be conditions that sufficiently motivate our public service employees for effective performance.
He said the review of salaries will be a continuous process through quarterly meetings of the National Joint Negotiation Council (NJNC), with the next indaba set for the last quarter of the year.
Apex Council deputy secretary-general Gibson Mushangu said they last had a meeting with the Government under NJNC on 11 August.
He also said civil servants want Government to conduct workshops for them so that they are abreast with its programmes that are aimed at improving their conditions of service.