Zimbabwean public servants’ unions have vowed to go on strike starting next Monday if the government fails to keep its pledge to review pay.
The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), and the Federation of Zimbabwe Educators Union (FOZEU) gave their employer until September 26 to fulfil their promise.
“If government fails, all civil servants will completely withdraw their labour,” said FOZEU in a statement.
The union made the statement few days before civil servants and government representatives met in Harare Tuesday under the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) to carry on with wage talks.
During the talks, government increased the US dollar wage component by US$25 starting September 1, 2022.
This means that civil servants will now be getting US$200 as the foreign currency component, up from US$175 that they have been getting.
The money comprises an unaltered US$75 a month in Covid-19 allowance plus, now, US$125 a month as the standard US dollar portion, up from US$100.
The local currency component of government workers’ wages remains static.
Government also stated its commitment to paying the annual bonus to all its workers.
However, the increase has since been dismissed as a joke by unions which feel the amount does not do anything to ameliorate their plight in a volatile economic situation characterised by unstable prices of goods and services.
Said ARTUZ: “The imminent 26 September action has shaken the arrogant employer.
“We note attempts to resurrect the defunct NJNC in a desperate bid to pacify workers.
“Government must fulfil the September salary review pledge or face the wrath of the workers on 26 September. No to pity parties.”
FOZEU also dismissed NJNC.
“We have no appetite for the talk shows being organised in the name of the discredited & illegal NJNC. 26 September we engage in a collective job action if government fails to pay a living wage. We are fed up with endless talks.”
ARTUZ urged their members to be patient and join the collective action.
Public Service minister Paul Mavima says government was committed to improving the welfare of its workers.