Leonard Ncube Victoria Falls Reporter
GOVERNMENT and civil servants’ representatives yesterday agreed on a salary increment ranging between 133 percent and 172 percent, which will see the lowest-paid worker earning $2 500 per month starting next month with the highest paid getting $4 631.
The Apex Council said the package was a mere 31 percent of what they had tabled.
The increment would be backdated to January 1.
There will also be a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) based on the total package, also to be paid starting February and backdated to January.
Since civil servants had received their January salaries, the workers will be paid the difference in four equal instalments starting February until the end of April, when another salary review is expected.
Negotiating parties under the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) signed the agreement in the early hours of yesterday.
Speaking at a Press conference, Apex Council president Mrs Cecilia Alexander said the deal was a provisional agreement while negotiations continued.
“We wish to advise our members that as NJNC we have reached a provisional agreement as we continue with negotiations,” she said.
“Having taken note of the challenges being faced by our members due to (the) rising cost of living and the state of the economy.
“In our wisdom we agreed that let’s continue to negotiate, but at least let’s reach some point where we can say for now we sign for something so that our members can get something to live on.”
Mrs Alexander said they had pressured Government to consider paying the January shortfalls over three months after failing to agree on a once-off payment.
She said their initial position was based on the October 2018 salaries, which they wanted matched with the interbank rate.
Mrs Alexander said the decision was a compromise for the sake of incapacitated workers.
The Apex Council, which had earlier declined to sign the agreement, said they were motivated by the commitment made by Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima on behalf of Government.
Prof Mavima had earlier told the NJNC workshop that Government was committed to social dialogue and that he would personally engage Treasury for better salaries.
He said the agreement was a critical moment for the country and will help restore normalcy in the civil service.
Government team leader on the Health Service Bipartite Negotiating Panel, Dr Maxwell Mareza Hove, said as negotiators they were elated to have struck a balance between workers’ needs and the national cake.
The Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association advised its members to do everything possible to deliver public service as required.