Zimbabwe’s main public sector workers’ union, Apex Council, has expressed dissatisfaction over the recently announced salary increment for civil servants and claim the increment is far from meeting their basic needs.
There has been mixed feelings from different sectors of the civil service.
Some of the APEX Council members claim that the increment was shoved in their throats without doing proper research on the current economic conditions and the council will continue fighting for better wages for its members.
One of the council’s senior members who spoke on condition of anonymity after its chairperson Cecilia Alexander was unavailable said :
“The problem we have in this country is absence of consistency, before civil servants enjoy a penny of the result of that grueling engagement with government prices shoot through the roof… because of the madness in the economy civil servants remain earning below the poverty datum line.”
Civil servants feel cheated because the increment did not meet the US dollar payment that they demanded.
“The demand is there in black and white. Who does not know all prices are US$ tagged, The so called inter-bank exchange rate has not done anything to ameliorate the plight of civil servants. Price of goods and services are beyond the reach of the majority of civil servants,” said our source.
The latest increment effectively means the lowest paid government worker will take home RTGS$ 600. According to the rate of 3.70 the lowest paid civil servant will get US$163 but the rate is expected to increase as civil servants get their salaries.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) secretary general Japhet Moyo said “RTGS$ 600 is a third of what workers are supposed to earn in terms of the PDL (poverty datum line) remember the PDL is a moving earache (sic) and currently is at 1800 by next week it’s expected to be double.”