CIVIL servants under the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) have bemoaned a move by the government to introduce massive deductions on the US$300 wage increase it had announced.
The increase, a transfer of the Covid-19 allowance into wages, had been met with jubilation and appreciation.
However, salaries received in January indicate massive deductions which civil servants now say are unfair and unethical.
“While the ZCPSTU appreciates the noble gesture by the employer to make the US$300 the salary, there is however an outcry from all public sector employees regards the new salary structure,” said ZCPSTU’s Cecilia Alexander.
“It is the workers’ experience that the deductions on the USD have left them with inadequate disposable income constituting unfair labour practice on the part of the employer. It is a trite labour principle that an employee’s salary shall not be subject to reduction for any reason.
“In the light of the above, ZCPSTU expect the employer to restore the workers’ take home to more than USD 300 without compromising the principle of USD as the salary.”
Government employees have been demanding salary increments for over two years with the government only awarding them periodical reviews, something their trade unions argue has kept them in perpetual poverty.
Members of the Amalgamated Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) and Federation of Zimbabwe Educators Union (FOZEU) have declared incapacitation, promising to either skip work in totality or attend and proceed on a go-slow.
“The Federation declares here and now that the government should review salaries of teachers to a minimum of USD 1 260 per month by 22 January 2024. If the government fails to play ball, all Limons affiliated to the Federation have resolved to mobilise their membership to completely withdraw their labour,” said FOZEU in a statement last week.
Civil servants had been earning less than US$100, a situation that led to them leaving for better-paying opportunities in Europe, America, Canada and Australia among many other places.