By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
15 January 2014
Salary negotiations between civil servants and the government will continue Friday when the two parties are expected to finally agree on a figure.
Civil servants’ representatives met those from the Labour Ministry Wednesday but no agreement was reached on how much the government was offering its workers.
Richard Gundani, chairperson of civil service unions umbrella body the Apex Council, said although the negotiations were yet to yield any concrete agreement, his team was happy that discussions were on-going.
He however refused to shed more light on the government’s offer to civil servants.
Civil servants want the salary of the lowest paid member to increase to $540 per month, in line with the poverty datum line. They are also pressing for improvements in their working conditions.
“All I can reveal is that negotiations are on-going, and we will meet again Friday. The positives so far are that we are talking about issues to do with housing schemes, empowering civil servants through investment trusts, and we have tabled different proposals on these,” Gundani said.
Friday’s discussions are also expected to focus on the need for the government to update old laws governing the sector.
“We want the government to align the Public Service Act and other subsidiary laws with the new constitution. But the main issue of backdated salaries remains outstanding and will be discussed Friday,” Gundani, who is also the president of the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association, told SW Radio Africa Wednesday.
Going into Wednesday’s talks, teachers had threatened to embark on strike unless government addressed their salary concerns. But on Monday, Takavafira Zhou, president of the 15,000-strong Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe said teachers will hold off on any action to give the negotiations a chance.
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