Civil servants have raised their salary demands from the pre-October 2018 salary of US$520 a month to about US$600 a month due to rising prices of goods and services.
The majority of civil servants are currently earning about ZWL$22 000 (less than US$100 using parallel market rates) on average a month, and US$75 COVID-19 allowance in hard currency.
This is less than half of the poverty datum line which is now $75 000.
Apex Council chairperson, Cecilia Alexander, told Business Times that Government workers now want US$600 a month. She said:
We have moved from the pre-October 2018 demand of US$520 per month to US$600 per month due to the ever-increasing prices of goods and services.
So, to curb that volatility, we now need to be paid in US$ which is a stable form of a currency.
But I don’t think it will come this month and a phased approach towards the new salary cap will see a worker getting a real value of his or her wage.
The Zimbabwe dollar continues to lose value against the United States dollar on both formal and informal markets.
The meagre salaries mean that civil servants and the majority of the government workers are now regarded as the working poor.
Alexander said civil servants’ representatives tabled their demands during a National Joint Negotiation Committee (NJNC) meeting that took place two weeks ago.
The government team reportedly appreciated the workers’ reasons for sticking to their position and asked for time out to consult with their principals.
It was also agreed that the issue of civil servants’ salaries should be resolved in the shortest time possible.