Civil servants reject 97 % wage hike offer by government

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By Idah Mhetu

GOVERNMENT has offered a 97% salary increment to its restive workforce, but this has been rejected by the civil servants who feel it did not tally with what they have been demanding from their employer.

Apex Council, the civil servants’ main negotiating arm, said Friday they were not taking any offer which does not match their October 2018 wages.

The fresh wage increment offer by government would see the lowest paid civil servant earning around RTGS$2033 per month, equivalent to US$92 basing on prevailing US dollar parallel market rates.

Speaking after a meeting with government representatives on Friday, Apex Council Secretary David Dzatsunga said they rejected the salary adjustment offer because it fell far short of their expectations of a US$475 equivalent which the lowest paid worker last received in October 2018.

“We have rejected what government has offered and we are meeting on Monday to map a way forward. Government had offered something like RTGS$2033 for the lowest paid civil servant which is about 97% increment, which does not get anywhere near what we are demanding because these are RTGS,” said Dzatsunga.

“Last year we gave them a position to say multiply our salaries that were earned by workers in October 2018 which was US$475 for the least paid worker and they should simply multiply that by the Interbank rate so they can restore the value of the civil servants’ salaries.”

The increase comes after most civil servants had notified their employer of their incapacity to continue reporting for duty, as they say they cannot survive on RTGS$800 given to the lowest paid worker.

The amount is less than US$40 in terms of the prevailing parallel market currency rates.

“We have told them we can’t accept it and we have given them our reasons. So, we have simply declared incapacitation for the civil servants; its clearly impossible for someone to survive on $800 RTGS,” he said.

Civil servants last got an increase when the Government offered a 76 % cost of living adjustment which resulted in the least paid worker pocketing RTGS$1 023 per month.

Dzatsunga said the board will next week they consult members again and update them on the outcome of Friday’s meeting.