The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has urged the Government to pay its workers US dollar salaries and end the ongoing strike by healthcare workers.
In a statement, ZCTU secretary-general, Japhet Moyo, said the strike action by health workers should be addressed as a matter of urgency to save the lives of ordinary citizens.
Read the full statement below:
GOVERNMENT MUST STOP TRIVIALISING WORKERS’ DEMANDS AND PAY USD SALARIES
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) notes with concern the government’s slow reaction to the civil servants’ demand for USD salaries amid a crippling strike by health workers.
We call upon the government to treat the strike action by the health workers with the urgency it deserves and negotiate in good faith in addressing workers’ concerns.
The ZCTU views government’s move to pay allowances in USD while salaries are paid in ZWL as a diabolic piecemeal trick meant to buy time while impoverishing civil servants.
Any earnings in allowances do not contribute to pensions and can be revoked at any moment leaving civil servants with useless paltry salaries.
It is no longer a secret that any salary increment in ZWL would be wiped out before it is earned and the current offer of the 100 per cent salary increment is not workable.
The only viable solution to the salary impasse is a USD salary which safeguards both earnings for the working lot and those going for retirement.
While we appreciate current engagement efforts between government and its employees, we implore the government to be realistic on the table.
The economy has self-dollarized and there is no justification for the employer to continue paying salaries in ZWL.
Further, our call for government to pay salaries in USD is premised on bringing stability and decent work in the civil service, moreso, when the government is charging some of its services in USD.
Decent work is non-negotiable and the government must lead by example by paying decent salaries.
Disturbances in the civil service severely affect the poor general public which uses public facilities like hospitals.
Government must therefore look beyond the civil servants but work to avoid death for thousands who are at risk of losing their lives as a result of lack of medical treatment.
We call upon the government to get its priorities right and pay living wages to health workers as well as equip public hospitals with adequate medicines and sundries.
It is government’s responsibility to take care of its employees and citizens as well as to respond accordingly to issues.
While it has responded to the call for business to trade in USD it has remained stubborn when it comes to USD salaries.
The ZCTU warns government against trivialising genuine workers’ concerns and demands. Any insensitivity to the plight of workers results in resistance and the ZCTU shall fully support the USD salary demand by all public and private sector employees and will take the necessary steps to safeguard, protect and defend their rights in all actions taken in demand of USD wages.