Economy

Civil servants get salary boost

Government has increased civil servants’ wages amid a paralyzing strike action by school teachers who are demanding the restoration of their minimum US$520 wages.
Under this development, the USD$75 Covid-19 allowance they were receiving will be converted to the local currency and combined with the existing monthly salaries to reflect a nominal increase.
Public Service Commission secretary Jonathan Wutawunashe announced the move in a statement on Wednesday 14 October.
“The Public Service Commission is pleased to advise government workers that the USD75 Covid-19 allowance for September is being paid today (Wednesday).
“Going forward, the USD75 Covid allowance will be paid on pay days. This effectively means that the least paid worker (B1) is now earning ZW$11 350.15 while a teacher at entry grade (D1) earns a total of ZW$12 491.15.
“The USD allowance is indexed to the prevailing RBZ foreign exchange rate,” Wutawunashe said.
He also added;
“Government is committed to continuously improve the working conditions of civil servants and hopes that negotiations in the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) to further improve emoluments for civil servants will be concluded soon”.
The move to hike wages follows weeks of sustained pressure by government workers, particularly school teachers, who are demanding substantial salary increases.
Last week President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared that government will not bow down to attempted ransom by the educators who have emerged as the most vocal section of the country’s public workforce. It remains to be seen if government employees will embrace the latest decision.
Teachers are requesting to have their wages paid in US dollars seeing that the economy has, by default, virtually dollarised. Even though Zimbabwean authorities have maintained the use of the Zim-dollar, rentals, goods and other services are now charged in hard currency.
However, following the RBZ Foreign Currency Auction System, prices and rates are stabilising in sharp contrast to the prevailing situation before the corrective measures. Economists have articulated that besides prices stabilising and in some cases going down, retailers are now able to price goods and services with certainty.
Government’s move to tighten the regulatory framework to halt any abuses has since brought relief and a sense of hope for those who earn in local currency.