Civil servants will this year have the worst festive season since 2008 due to low salaries amid a sharp rise in the prices of goods and services, unions representing Government workers have said.
The Government paid civil servants’ bonuses in US dollars last month but some of them failed to access the funds after their banks compulsorily liquidated the money into Zimbabwe dollars.
Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) president Enock Dongo urged the Government to give nurses their December salaries in US dollars as some nurses failed to access the bonus in forex. Said Dongo:
Looking at the November bonus given to nurses, there is definitely nothing to celebrate because a significant number failed to access the bonus in forex.
As a result, even if they get their December salaries, they cannot afford to buy clothes and other goodies for their family to enjoy the festive season.
Government should give nurses their December salaries in US dollars because we cannot count on the November bonus.
In a statement, the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) appealed to the Government to urgently review teachers’ salaries with urgency. PTUZ said:
Civil servants are about to have the worst Christmas ever since 2008, and if salaries are not adjusted in January, it will be hell on earth.
Mthuli Ncube, Public Service Commission, your employees are starving. $25 000-30 000 (salary earned) is a dog’s breakfast.
Zimbabwe National Teachers Union Manuel Nyawo said the paltry bonuses have already been eroded by the rising prices of goods and services. He said:
Our members remain very desperate. There is no real bonus to talk about. Prices have already gone up and the little income they got as a bonus has already been spent on very few items.
The disposable income is just an eyesore and we want to appeal to the employer to pay us more so we are able to join our parents in the rural areas and enjoy Christmas with them.
Come January 2022 we need money for our children’s school fees as well as money for food and transport.
The situation before us is very worrisome and action is needed on the part of the government.
Civil servants want their salaries in US dollars considering that most goods and services, including fuel and gas, are being sold in foreign currency.