via Civil servants want October increase | The Zimbabwean by Farai Mabeza 25.09.13
Civil servants say they are pushing for an October salary increment in response to government’s invitation to workers’ unions to come up with a position paper on salaries and conditions of service.
Apex Council Chairperson, David Dzatsunga told The Zimbabwean that the umbrella body for civil servants unions would make a case for immediate salary reviews.
“We have other concerns that can be addressed in the long term, but what is critical at the moment is the salary review. We don’t have much time. This should happen before year end as the President said,” he said.
Dzatsunga said that civil servants would be happy with an adjustment in October. “If it were to happen in November then it should be backdated to October,” he said.
The Apex Council is the body that brings together civil servants unions and the National Joint Negotiating Council which is made up of government and workers’ negotiators.
Dzatsunga, who is also the President of the College Lecturers Association of Zimbabwe, said civil servants want to make their representations to government by the end of this week.
In the long term, Dzatsunga said civil servants would make presentations on non-monetary incentives. “We will be looking at things such as housing and vehicle schemes. We will come up with a position paper together as civil servants unions,” he said.
Civil servants also want certain changes in working conditions. “We want standards of living improved. We also want government to do an analysis of needs according to each sector. The civil service is not a homogenous sector. For example lecturers have different expectations and challenges from their counterparts in other sectors of government,” he said.
Staff qualifications and experience must be considered each time a salary rise comes into effect, he added.
Civil servants’ unions recently met the Civil Service Commission chairman, Mariyawanda Nzuwah, and the commission’s secretary, Pretty Sunguro, and were tasked to come up with their proposals.
“We are upbeat about this engagement because it is a departure from what has been happening in the past,” Dzatsunga said.
The new constitution does not provide for the Apex Council and government workers have also been demanding clarity on how they would engage government in collective bargaining.
The state has since indicated that current Acts of Parliament and Statutory Instruments would continue working until amended.
Lowest paid workers in government are currently earning $297 against the Poverty Datum Line which is at over $600.