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"They Just Played With Figures," - Workers Reject Government Offer

Civil servants have rejected the government’s 20% salary increase plus US$100 in hard currency offer and insisted on their demands for a pre-October 2018 salary of US$540.

Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube said the government had backdated the salary increase to January while the US$100 would take effect in March.

It also introduced an advancement award recognising seniority and announced non-monetary benefits like transport provision. Some of the non-monetary benefits include plans to construct housing units for civil servants.

The offer came after teachers refused to report for duty on Monday when schools opened despite threats to withhold the salaries and drag striking teachers to disciplinary hearings. Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) secretary-general Japhet Moyo said labour unions were not impressed with the offer which he said was announced without consultation. Moyo said:

There is a structure that is there that represents workers. Their approach is completely wrong and, obviously, the increment is inadequate if you look at the inflation at the moment.

Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) president Enoch Dongo said “there is no increment, they just played with figures.”

In a statement, the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said teachers were now being treated as slaves with no purpose hence the decision “to rise beyond slavery and fight for our dignity.”

Young Teachers Association chairperson Takemore Mhlanga said they had enough fake government promises to improve their welfare.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou said a better offer could have emanated from collective bargaining under section 65 of the Constitution rather than “this unilateralism rubber-stamped by archaic and moribund Apex Council.”

Addressing journalists yesterday, Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa urged teachers to take the offer or opt to be used as proxies in a wider regime change agenda.

More: NewsDay

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