Civil Servants Accept Govt 41% Salary Increase Just To Get Their Bonuses
17 November 2020
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Paul Nyathi

Apex Council chairperson Mrs Cecilia Alexander

Civil servants yesterday accepted the 41 percent salary increase by Government, including allowances.

The latest increase will see the least- paid civil servant earning about $14 500.

In an interview yesterday after a meeting of the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC), Apex Council chairperson Mrs Cecilia Alexander confirmed the deal. She said Government had increased the basic salary only, but they finally settled for increments which include allowances.

“We have agreed to a cost of living adjustment to be paid as follows: an average salary increase of 41 percent of the total package that is the basic salary, transport and housing allowances plus special civil service allowance. It is going to be effective from November 1, 2020,” she said.

Mrs Alexander said the bonus for 2020, which is paid over two months, was going to be based on the basic salary plus transport and housing allowances.

While the civil servants had accepted the offer, Mrs Alexander said they trusted the Government would continue prioritising their welfare in the coming year. The Government has already made it clear that while it will not borrow or print money to pay civil servants, and so scupper the hard-won economic stability, it will continue as it has been doing this year to improve pay and benefits as tax revenues rise.

Mrs Alexander said a well defined roadmap for civil servants would be crafted in January next year.

“We have settled for the offer because we are now getting at the end of the year and Government is also going to be paying us bonuses for two months. What it means is that if we had refused the offer, civil servants were going to lose bonuses or get paid using calculations of the previous salary structure,” she said.

Mrs Alexander said while the civil servants’ proposal to be paid according to the value of salaries in October 2018 was not met, they settled for the increase in good faith hoping that next year would bring better fortunes.

Zimbabwe Nurses Association secretary-general Mr Enock Dongo, who heads the nursing union that has held out the longest, said nurses welcomed the increment awarded by the Government but still wanted a further improvement.

“It is a welcome development by Government and we really appreciate the increment they have offered. It is however, not yet enough to cater for the cost of living. We expect more. But like I said, this is a positive step and we really appreciate it,” said Mr Dongo.

However, the vast majority of nurses in the public sector had already resumed full-time duties, with hospital chief executives playing a major role in both getting staff to end industrial action while themselves pressing for improvements in conditions of service. Only a little over 1 000, around 3 percent of the total, were still holding out for limited duties.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube has repeatedly assured the nation that measures put in place to insulate the local currency against erosion, are sustainable with the auction system working very well to create a stable base, so inflation recedes as a serious problem. But he has also stressed that while he wants to see civil servants properly rewarded he needs to maintain the fiscal discipline that has created the basis for the new stability and the launchpad for sustained and viable economic growth.