The umbrella body of Zimbabwe’s civil servants, the Apex Council, on Wednesday demanded the resumption of wage negotiations with the government that was last held in April this year.
The body said it is still waiting for the government to respond to its demand for U.S. dollar salaries, a condition it had given for wage negotiations to resume.
“The Apex Council takes note of the unnegotiated 50 percent salary increment plus the 75 U.S. dollars COVID-19 allowance as an admission on the employer’s part that the welfare of its workers need to be improved.
“We also appreciate government’s realization that workers need to earn U.S. dollars to survive. Our view is that negotiations should now commence, informed by this reawakening on the employer’s side that our demand for U.S. dollar salaries is after all the best foot forward,” Apex Council chairperson Cecilia Alexander said in a statement.
Zimbabwe’s public sector workers are demanding payment of their salaries in U.S. dollars against the backdrop of high inflation that is eroding their earnings.
In June, the government awarded its workers a 50 percent interim salary adjustment and a 75 U.S. dollars COVID-19 cushion allowance while awaiting the conclusion of further wage negotiations.
Alexander urged the government not to neglect the welfare of its workers and urgently convene a meeting with them to agree on a new salary increase.
The call by the Apex body came as health workers, in particular doctors and nurses, are on strike to press for better pay and working conditions.
The strike is despite the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen over 5,000 cases and 135 deaths being recorded in the country since March. Enditem