By Staff Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Urban Council Workers Union (ZUCWU) has written to all urban councils demanding a minimum basic salary of $7 426, representing an increase of 35% from the current $2 549.
ZUCWU general-secretary Kudakwashe Munengiwa in his letter said although the government had set $2 549 as the minimum wage in April in line with the statutory instrument (SI) 81 of 2020, the amount has subsequently been windswept by inflation.
“While SI 81 of 2020 which set the minimum wage at ZW$2 549,74 was a noble gesture from government, it has since been taken over by events,” Munengiwa said in a letter dated June 15 and addressed to mayors, town clerks and local board secretaries.
“According to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, the poverty datum line (PDL) increased to ZW$7 426 in April. We are, therefore, against that background requesting for an urgent review of salaries in line with the prevailing inflation trends or alternatively pegging the same in hard currency.
“There is also need to be guided by the International Labour Organisation recommendation that the poverty datum line should be used as a benchmark or reference point in determining minimum wages.”
Munengiwa confirmed writing the letter in an interview Thursday.
“Councils should adjust workers’ salaries in view of the prevailing economic environment,” he told NewZimbabwe.com.
Urban Councils’ Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) president Josiah Makombe who is also Gweru mayor, said urban councils would engage employees in their new demands.
“As local authorities, we can’t violate the SI but as for the new demands by workers, it’s well known that local authorities are financially struggling,” he said.
“The workers are right in referring to the PDL but it’s all an issue of capacity on the part of councils. We will always negotiate with our employees hence there is need for stakeholders and ratepayers to honour their obligations so that in turn we can also be able to pay.”