THE Government will this week pay civil servants a top up salary as part of cushioning its workers while negotiations for an agreed salary adjustment are underway.
In a statement yesterday, Public Service Commission (PSC) Secretary Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe said the payment did not have any bearing on the negotiations between the Government and the National Joint Negotiating Council.
“The Public Service Commission wishes to announce that in the spirit of an understanding between Government and its employees, Government will proceed to pay, in addition to regular emoluments paid out earlier this week, what is available, while negotiations in the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) continue,” he said.
Ambassador Wutawunashe said the payment was aimed at cushioning workers, particularly teachers who would be returning to school for the first time since March when schools were closed because of Covid-19. Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) sitting Grade Seven, Form Four and Form Six classes will open tomorrow with all learners across the board expected to be back in class in November.
“This payment does not prejudice the negotiations, but seeks to cushion the workers in the interim, pending conclusion of negotiations, particularly in view of the urgent need to support teachers who are going back to schools to prepare children for examinations.
The Government reiterates its commitment to pay a living wage to its employees, who will start accessing the top up within the week ending 2 October,” said Ambassador Wutawunashe.
Last week, civil servants rejected a 40 percent salary increase that the Government had offered resulting in the postponement of negotiations.
The latest move comes in the back of other concessions by Government, including the extension of the foreign currency non-taxable Covid-19 allowance for civil servants and pensioners to December.
The Government in June announced a flat non-taxable Covid-19 allowance of US$75 a month for civil servants and increased their salaries by 50 percent while pensioners who retired from the civil service also got a flat non-taxable Covid-19 allowance of US$30.
Zimbabwe Teachers Union (Zimta) chief executive officer Dr Sifiso Ndlovu said they did not know the figure that was being offered to teachers as the top up salary, as it was not a result of the negotiations that they had been having with Government.
“At the moment this (information) is not something that we can pass on to our members because we don’t know how much they will get from it. This was not a result of the collective bargaining process that we have been witnessing.
“Perhaps, if we differed on the percentages that should be awarded to the workers, the PSC should have come back to the negotiating table and we reached a suitable conclusion,” he said.