Civil servants have threatened to go on strike this week after the government refused to give in to their salary demand of US$840 for the lowest-paid worker.
They also accuse the government of trying to divide its workers after it emerged that those in the health sector received ZWL$180 000 in July while teachers were expected to get ZWL$50 000.
A fortnight ago, labour unions gave the government a 14-day notice to withdraw their labour unless their demands for US dollar salaries were met. The notice expires on Thursday this week.
Zimbabwe Congress of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) president Cecilia Alexander said:
It’s coming as a consequence of the employer’s dialogue platform where they announce their offer before coming to the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC).
They pay or implement unarmed adjustments to the salaries making the unions and NJNC as a whole irrelevant to the processes and outcomes of the engagement.
The 100% offer that we have flatly rejected but which the employer is sticking to, will put us in a worse situation than the ZWL offer we were awarded in January in terms of value.
The $18 000 of January 2022 had more value than the $36 000 of July 2022.
Who on earth has ever accepted an offer which results in the negative in the name of improved condition of service?
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou added:
If the government does not come up with a US dollar component then we are simply going to declare incapacitation because people do not have the money to go to work.
There is also information filtering, l don’t know if it’s a divisive effort by the government, showing that there are others who have been paid $180 000 while teachers are earning below $50 000.
That in itself is an attempt by the government to divide workers but it will not divide workers. Workers will remain united.
Last week, civil servants announced that they were pulling out of the National Joint Negotiating Council after two years of “fruitless” meetings.
More: The Standard