Zimbabwe Public Sector Unions Reject 100% Salary Increase Proposal

Zimbabwe Public Sector Unions Reject 100% Salary Increase Proposal

The Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) has rejected the government’s proposal to implement a 100% salary increment for civil servants. ZCPSTU President Cecilia Alexander explained the decision in a statement made on Friday, noting that the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) meeting failed to reach an agreement due to several concerns raised by the unions.

Alexander criticized the Public Service Commission (PSC) for prematurely releasing information about the proposed salary increment that had not yet been agreed upon by both parties. She pointed out that the PSC’s actions violated Statutory Instruments (SI) 141 of 1997, which stipulates that such information should not be disclosed in this manner.

Furthermore, Alexander highlighted the discrepancy in the timing of the salary increments, as some government sectors, including Defence and Home Affairs, had already received their increases in February, while others were only scheduled to receive theirs in April. This disparity has resulted in unequal treatment and a lack of inflation-adjusted salary components for some civil servants.

Another concern raised by the ZCPSTU president was the insufficient clothing allowance of US$30, which has not been addressed in the proposal. Additionally, Alexander emphasized that the current salary structure has led to distortions within various sectors. In some cases, junior personnel is now earning more than their administrative counterparts, which further complicates the situation.

Alexander also called on the PSC to reassess the benefits provided to pensioners, expressing concern that they are receiving an unfair deal that requires immediate attention and consideration from the government.

Given the numerous issues surrounding the proposed salary increment, the council has unanimously agreed to prioritize negotiations for the second quarter, as the previous increment has already been eroded by inflation.

Earlier this month, the PSC approved a 100% remuneration review for civil servants, excluding the health sector. This review included an increase in the Covid-19 cushioning allowance from US$200 to US$250 per month for all sectors except the health sector. Government pensioners were granted a US$100 monthly allowance, paid concurrently with ZWL$ salaries. The health sector allowance remained at US$200.

As part of the proposal, teachers were awarded an US$80 teaching allowance, payable at the prevailing inter-bank rate, effective from April 1, 2023. This teaching allowance replaced the previously introduced school fees payment facility, which was subsequently discontinued.

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