A virtual meeting between representatives of the Government and civil servants failed to take place on Wednesday due to internet connectivity challenges, with the parties now expected to have a physical meeting at an unknown date.
The National Joint Negotiating Committee (NJNC) meeting was meant to lay the guiding framework of how public sector wages and living conditions will be made better throughout the year.
Civil servants are demanding United States dollar wages and are cautiously optimistic after the Government paid their 2021 bonuses in foreign currency and also pledged to pay their COVID-19 risk allowances in hard cash.
Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) secretary-general David Dzatsunga confirmed that yesterday’s meeting failed to take place. He said:
We could not proceed with the virtual meeting because of connectivity challenges. Another issue is that the meeting is very important such that physical meetings are necessary to put across our issue.
We asked to postpone it and if all goes well, we should have a physical meeting.
We are just basically looking at the United States dollar salary that is becoming more than an expectation, but it is becoming more of a right because we are looking at the economy and the economic dynamics and it is clearly pointing to the fact that RTGS salaries are no longer sustainable.
Even if you look back at the bonus decision that the government made unilaterally out of its own wisdom that giving us RTGS salaries was not the correct way, this should spur it to push this into salaries after that realisation.
When contacted by NewsDay, Public Service and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima said he was on leave and could not comment on the salary talks between the government and civil servants.