Civil Servants “Now Chronically Incapacitated”

Source: Civil Servants “Now Chronically Incapacitated”

Civil servants have expressed frustration over the lack of progress in negotiations with the Government for a salary review amid the rise in the cost of living.

Workers’ earnings have been eroded by the depreciation of the local currency against the United States dollar, and an increase in the cost of goods and services in foreign currency.

In a recent statement, the Zimbabwe Congress of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) accused the Government of reneging on its pledge to convene an NJNC meeting every quarter. Said ZCPSTU:

As government workers, we have borne the brunt of the current economic downturn. We have watched the value of our wages getting eroded daily to the extent that we are now chronically incapacitated.

Our lives and welfare have become a nightmare, and the delay in holding an NJNC [National Joint Negotiating Council] three months into the first quarter clearly shows the employer’s lack of concern towards our plight much against the standard practice of quarterly negotiations.

The NJNC serves as a platform where the government and unions representing civil servants engage in negotiations related to civil servants’ salaries, benefits, and working conditions.

Civil servants earn less than US$300 per month in addition to a local currency salary component which is less than US$100.

ZCPSTU president Goodwill Taderera wrote to the Minister of Public Service and Social Welfare, July Moyo urging him to urgently convene the NJNC. Said Taderera:

The noble calling of public service should neither be a silent promise of hardship nor a path to poverty.

Yet, many civil service workers are now submerged in financial distress, finding it challenging to uphold their roles and provide for their families.

A motivated civil service is the backbone of efficient and effective public administration. Their welfare is directly correlated with the welfare of the nation.

In the private sector, there is also discontent among workers over poor salaries, with some having gone for several months without being paid.