CIVIL servants’ hopes for a salary increment anytime soon were dampened last Friday after the government reportedly told union leaders that the economy could not sustain an upward review.
The message was conveyed at the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) meeting in Harare to discuss the mid-term salary review promised early this year.
Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu confirmed the development yesterday.
“We received a report from the government indicating that it was in distress in terms of resources and therefore could not review salaries,” he said.
A Progressive Teachers’ Union Facebook post on the union’s page revealed that nothing concrete had come out of Friday’s meeting.
“We have just concluded the NJNC and nothing really came out. We were advised that the mid-term (salary) reviews agreed in January would not be possible because the economy is struggling,” the post reads.
“We have, however, requested the government to present proof to support this claim.”
Another meeting has been scheduled for June 27 and the agenda will include issues around the constantly changing pay days, tax deductions, pensions and allowances for teachers working in rural areas.
However, Ndlovu said teachers in rural areas had started receiving the 5% rural allowances except for a few whose data had not been captured at the Salary Service Bureau.
“The 5% allowance was paid, is being paid and will continue to be paid,” he said.
“Some people had not understood it, so when we checked with them we discovered that it is being paid.”
In January this year, civil servants accepted the government’s offer of a $54 salary increase, which saw the lowest paid employee earning around $375 per month. The increment was a far cry from the negotiators efforts to achieve a poverty datum line wage of $505 as pegged by Zimstats.