The Sunday News
Harmony Agere, Harare Bureau
CIVIL servants’ salaries will, by June 2021, be restored to the United States dollar value that they stood at during the multi-currency era as Government continues to reform and grow the economy, a Cabinet Minister has said.
In his presentation at the Parliamentary Pre-Budget seminar in Harare yesterday, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima said Government had agreed a roadmap with the civil servants representative body, the Apex Council, to continuously improve wages in line with workers’ demands.
Civil servants are demanding a salary equivalent to US$520 which they earned before the country abandoned the multi-currency system in 2019. Prof Mavhima said Government was amenable to meeting this demand.
“We have made a lot of progress with civil servants. When we started this year civil servants were complaining that they were earning something like $30 to $40 equivalent in US dollar terms.
“But if you look at where we are today, using the auction rate, we have reached the US$200 level which is a very big improvement. We have signed an agreement with the Apex Council accepting that level, but we have also in that agreement come up with a road map to continuously improve the conditions of service for civil servants to where maybe by June or July next year we may have clawed back to the levels they are demanding of July-August 2018.”
Prof Mavima implored civil servants to be patient saying meeting the workers’ salary demands was achievable.
“It’s a process. I think it’s important for civil servants to understand that. It depends much on the performance of the economy and if we continue to build on the progress we have made so far we will reach the levels they demand. The truth is that the Government is not in a position to pay the 2018 salaries right now because there is no money.”
Government has maintained that it could afford a minimum teacher’s salary of ZWL$18 000 a month. Last week, civil servants accepted Government’s offer of a 41 percent salary increase and a bonus whose payment will be staggered from this month to December. The increment will see the least paid civil servant earning a salary of $14 524. The deal also saw striking teachers return to work.