HARARE – The government has offered to raise public sector wages by 76 percent, the umbrella group for public sector unions said on Friday, up from an initial offer of a 10 percent hike that the unions had rejected.
The unions group, known as the APEX Council, said that the new offer was still below what workers were demanding and that it would mean the lowest paid civil servants earned 1,023 Zimbabwe dollars per month compared with their demand of 4,750 dollars.
The council said that it would consult its members on the new offer and that talks with the government would resume on Tuesday.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is keen to avert strikes by unions, amid rising anger over low wages which have been eroded by runaway inflation and currency changes.
College lecturers, teachers and doctors have all given notice to strike within weeks, putting pressure on the government.
Finance minister Mthuli Ncube announced a supplementary budget last month which did not contain the planned wage hikes.
Last week, the International Monetary Fund warned Zimbabwe against borrowing to fund public sector pay increases.
“The IMF highlighted that we should increase salaries based on what we generate from our taxes. They suggested that we must not borrow to pay salaries,” Ncube said.