Civil servants have rejected the government’s 20% salary increase plus US$100 in hard currency offer and insisted on their demands for a pre-October 2018 salary of US$540.
Government said the salary increase would be backdated to January while the US$100 would take effect in March. It also introduced an advancement award recognising seniority and announced non-monetary benefits like transport provision.
The offer came after teachers refused to report for duty on Monday when schools opened despite threats to dock their salaries and drag them to disciplinary hearings.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions secretary-general Japhet Moyo said labour unions were not impressed with the offer which he said was announced without consultation.
“There is a structure that is there that represents workers. Their approach is completely wrong and, obviously, the increment is inadequate if you look at the inflation at the moment,” Moyo said.
Zimbabwe Nurses Association (Zina) president Enoch Dongo said the offer did not address fundamental worker grievances.
“We have legislation that gives workers and the employer a chance to dialogue and this mentality of just deciding for workers is not a welcome development. There is no increment, they just played with figures,” Dongo said.
Some of the non-monetary benefits include plans to construct housing units for civil servants.
In a statement, the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said: “Teaching is a passion and we remain committed to the education sector and our learners, however, without proper motivation we are just moving slaves with no purpose and we have chosen to rise beyond slavery and fight for our dignity.”
Young Teachers Association chairperson Takemore Mhlanga said they had enough of fake government promises to improve their welfare.
“Civil servants have been promised stands before and they have been robbed of monies. Workers want improved salaries, not promises. We are where we are because of continued fake promises,” Mhlanga said.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou added: “It is also clear that there is no urgent rescue package to assist teachers to urgently report for work, the advancement award is shrouded in mystery and there is nothing to write home about,”
“A better offer could have emanated from collective bargaining under section 65 of the Constitution rather than this unilateralism rubber stamped by archaic and moribund Apex Council.”
Addressing journalists yesterday, Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa urged teachers to take the offer or opt to be used as proxies in a wider regime change agenda.-Newsday