Zimbabwe civil servants on Wednesday failed to reach consensus on the way forward after divisions emerged among member unions on government’s unchanged salary offer.
At the last-ditch National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) meeting held Wednesday to try and avert a crippling strike, government offered three hectares of land per province for housing for the civil servants, in addition to the 300 million dollars it has offered, but a workers’ union for teachers rejected this, saying it was a mockery
A feedback meeting called by the Apex Council to discuss the government offer and map the way forward ended prematurely after members failed to reach consensus.
Raymond Majongwe, secretary-general of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, told journalists that the Apex Council was divided amid accusations of some unions having allegedly been paid by donors to cause violence in the country.
The Zimbabwe Teachers Association, the main teachers union, has already indicated that its members will embark on strike starting Feb. 5.
The Apex Council consists of 16 government workers’ unions.
Zimbabwe’s civil servants have been calling for wage increases following a sharp rise in the cost of living, which has been exacerbated by the recent massive hike in fuel prices.
The workers want the lowest paid worker to earn a monthly salary of 1, 733 dollars, up from the current 414 dollars.
Government has unveiled a 60 million dollars housing scheme for civil servants as part of non-monetary incentives to the poorly paid workers.
However, Majongwe said the loan facility was grossly inadequate as it would translate to a mere 200 dollars for each of the 300,000 civil servants in the country. Enditem