via Govt, civil servants strike pay deal – DailyNews Live by Lloyd Mbiba 21 JANUARY 2014
Government and civil servants have signed a pay deal that will see the least paid government worker getting a $79 salary increment.
Civil servants’ negotiators who spoke to the Daily News yesterday after a marathon meeting with government representatives said the lowest paid employee in Grade B1 will now receive a monthly salary of $375, up from $297.
On top of this, the government agreed with its employees on a housing scheme that will see the State giving civil servants houses.
A Civil Servants Resource Trust was also agreed upon that will see government workers participating in the indigenisation and empowerment drive.
Initially, civil servants wanted the least paid worker to earn $543 in line with the poverty datum line (PDL), in addition to other non-monetary benefits.
Raymond Majongwe, one of the negotiators and Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general, expressed exasperation over the deal.
“I felt I was fighting a lone battle,” Majongwe told the Daily News.
“There were times I felt lonely in the negotiations. We signed a document that I was not happy with. What this means is that we now have to go back to our members and give them the feedback. From there on, we will chart a way forward.
“I must say I am happy that we crafted a road map that will see us continue to negotiate with government. This means we will live to fight another day. I hope things will be better in the future.”
Sifiso Ndlovu, Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) chief executive and one of the negotiators, conceded flaws in the deal.
“It is not the best deal that we wanted but it is fair,” Ndlovu said.
“Under the circumstances in which negotiations took place, I believe we tried our best. We will continue engaging the government because we believe there is more that needs to be done.
“We managed to get government to agree to the poverty datum line of $505 and the lowest paid worker will get 75 percent of this figure. This is not the best deal but it’s a starting point.”
Government and its workers started negotiations late last year amid bickering.
At one time Majongwe threatened a national teachers strike, but his counter parts from Zimta said he was jumping the gun.