By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
08 January 2014
The government has been accused of negotiating in bad faith and not showing interest in resolving a wage dispute with civil servants, a union leader said on Wednesday.
Takavafira Zhou, the President of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) said they feel betrayed as government was showing no interest to honour its pledge to increase salaries for civil servants by the start of 2014.
“Teachers are going back to work next week Tuesday and the issue of their salaries has not even been resolved a pledge it promised during electioneering,” he said.
“It’s unfortunate that at this eleventh hour, the government is trying to be evasive and elusive and without concrete agreement, we might be forced to take other measures,” warned Zhou.
He said that all they were asking for was a remuneration package that values the job teachers do.
In the run up to and after the July 31st polls President Robert Mugabe promised to improve the welfare of government employees, a pledge that has not been fulfilled.
Last month, civil servants’ representatives met in Harare with government officials in their first joint negotiating meeting in two and a half years.
The union representatives said that meeting was “very inconclusive” and there was hope government would reconvene a meeting in January to start the salary negotiations.
Teachers in Zimbabwe earn a basic salary of between $300 and $480 per month, but the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe says a food basket for an average family of five now costs $540 a month.