via Backdated pay rise for civil servants | The Herald January 9, 2014 by Felex Share
Civil servants will receive salary increments backdated to January this year once Government agrees on a new pay schedule with workers’ representatives, it was revealed yesterday.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Nicholas Goche told The Herald that Government workers would definitely get a salary increment.
This comes against the backdrop that some civil servants, including members of the disciplined forces whose pay date is tomorrow, have received payslips that do not reflect any increment.
The Herald was yesterday inundated with calls from civil servants who felt “cheated” by their employer.
However, Minister Goche allayed the fears, saying Government had written to unions requesting a meeting to clarify these and other issues.
“What I can only tell you at the moment is that they (civil servants) will get their increments backdated to January,” he said.
“Government has written a letter to the staff associations to cause for a meeting where it will respond to their proposals.”
Minister Goche did not disclose how much the least-paid Government employee would get.
“They submitted their position paper and as such, we will give them the Government position through the normal channel. We have to agree with them at the negotiating table and we believe it is not proper to impose a new salary structure on them,” he added.
Civil servants are demanding US$543 for the lowest-paid worker in line with the poverty datum line and 30 percent of basic salary as rural allowance.
They also want indigenisation and non-monetary benefits.
The least-paid Government worker currently gets US$297.
Civil servants unions yesterday said they were not panicking over the non-existence of an increment on the pay slips of members of the uniformed forces.
“Their salaries are also determined and affected by collective bargaining processes that are currently going on,” said Teachers
Union of Zimbabwe chief executive Mr Manuel Nyawo.
“Considering negotiations are not yet complete, it is too early for anyone to talk negatively on procedural issues governing these talks. The journey to Canaan might take long but we can only comment objectively after we finish with Government,” he said.
The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has threatened to call for a strike if salary increments are not pronounced before schools open next Tuesday.
But Zimbabwe Teachers Association president and Apex Council team leader Mr Richard Gundani said they were expecting a positive response from Government.
The Apex Council brings together all unions representing Government workers.
“We are not expecting explanations or apologies, meaning any indication of a positive move by Government is welcome,” he said.
“I have been talking to the Government negotiators and a meeting will be held soon for us to get their position,” said Mr Gundani.
Added College Lectures Association of Zimbabwe president Mr David Dzatsunga: “We are happy Government is committed to our welfare and respects the process of consultation.
“We wait and see what they offer when we meet in a few days’ time but the fact that they are not hiding from us shows they are serious.”
PTUZ secretary-general Mr Raymond Majongwe said Government should expedite negotiations.
“This should be treated as a labour dispute between the employer and employees, not a political matter,” he said. “This is an urgent matter and we respect the party that won to govern and as such our legitimate labour demands should be respected.”
He said it was unfortunate that when they threatened to strike some people wanted to politicise the issue.
“We are not medieval workers but 21st century employees and as such a solution should be found urgently to put to rest any other negative thoughts among the workers.”
“We still hold our guns and we only wait to see what they have in store for the worker,” said Mr Majongwe.