Minister Mavima Calls For ‘Realistic Demands’ Ahead Public Service Salary Meeting

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By Alois Vinga

LABOUR Minister, Paul Mavima has called for realistic demands ahead of a crisis meeting with civil servants over salary increments Friday.

This follows a petition handed to the government this week by the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) president Cecilia Alexander notifying the government of their intention to stage a “full-scale” strike if salary increments are not effected within seven days.

The civil servants group is demanding the government to revert to October 2018 salaries which stood around an equivalent of US$550.

But speaking exclusively to Thursday, the Labour Minister urged the country’s workers to be realistic.

“I appreciate the agitation and activities around the issue of salary increments particularly emanating from teachers’ unions. We will be having a meeting with the NJNC (National Joint Negotiation Council) and if our fiscal space permits we will effect a salary increase,” he said.

“However, whatever the agreement, there is a need to acknowledge that the economy has registered significant disinflation and achieved some measure of stability so I urge all parties to the negotiations to make realistic demands,” he said.

Mavima said a situation where the government will end up spending its entire earnings on salaries is undesirable.

“Unions must, therefore, be concerned of the attainment of Vision 2030 and create space for other projects like roads and dam construction among others,” he said.

Quizzed on whether the government will intervene to push employers in the private sector to pay workers’ salaries in US$, the Labour Minister said all stakeholders must utilise their respective National Employment Councils.