Public Service minister Paul Mavima has invited more than 40 public service unions to a meeting to discuss salaries and conditions of service today (Monday 1 August 2022).
Finance minister Mthuli Ncube is expected to attend today’s negotiations amid concerns that his mid-term fiscal policy review and supplementary budget announced last Thursday failed to adequately cushion workers from inflation.
Civil servants want United States-denominated salaries, but the government has shot down their demands. Public Service ministry secretary Simon Masanga wrote in a statement dated July 28:
Following our meeting on 19 July 2022 and your request to have a meeting with the Finance minister Mthuli Ncube to discuss the conditions of service of members of the public service, your request has been granted.
The chairperson of the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions Cecilia Alexander welcomed the invite saying they had tried for a long time to have a meeting concerning the welfare of public service workers.
Alexander told NewsDay Zimbabwe that they expected the meeting to address issues of the value of workers’ salaries that have been eroded by inflation. Added Alexander:
We had tried to convince the government to pay us in US dollars, but they said they do not have the money to pay us in that currency. We are now saying value the figures you are giving us so that we don’t sink into poverty.
But the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou feels that the discussions are pointless since Ncube has already ruled out US dollar salaries.
He added that civil servants are already contemplating industrial action in September 2022.