Teachers Strike: Under Pressure Gvt Offers 20% Increment

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By Anna Chibamu

DESPERATE to avoid a full-scale industrial action by civil servants, the Zanu PF government has awarded a 20% salary increment backdated to January and a Covid-19 monthly allowance of US$100 effective March 1.

This is in addition to the US$75 Covid-19 allowance they are being given, implying the total Covid-19 allowance will be US$175 payable in hard currency.

However, the adjustments still fall far too short of their US$540 monthly salary demands and is likely to be rejected.

Finance minister Mthuli Ncube, accused by teachers’ unions of carrying out an academic genocide, announced the increment in a statement on Tuesday.

“Government will with immediate effect award a 20% salary increment on their Zimbabwean dollar pay, backdated to January 2022 in addition to a US$100 per month in hard currency with effect from the 1st of March 2022,” Ncube said.

“This will be done through the conversion of a corresponding Zimbabwe dollar salary amount into hard currency, bringing the foreign currency amount to USD175,” he said, adding: “The introduction of an advancement award, which recognises seniority, for differentiation within the same grade to be implemented across the entire civil service sector.”

Ncube also announced non-monetary benefits which included zero payment of school fees for up to three biological children per teaching family, with an upper limit of ZW$20 000 per child per term, paid directly to the school;  the construction of 34 000 housing units ( 125 blocks of flats) over a five-year period as institutional accommodation including critical amenities, for teachers within the school premises and the implementation of a housing loan guarantee scheme to facilitate home ownership by civil servants.

He said teachers will be provided with a transport facility to ferry them in both rural and urban areas and will now import vehicles duty-free.