Govt, workers agree on salary review

The Chronicle

GOVERNMENT and its workers have agreed on a new salary package except for a few sticking points including the dates for effecting the reviews.

This follows a meeting between the Government and workers representatives on Friday under the auspices of the National Joint Negotiating Council.

Last week’s meeting was a follow-up to the previous dialogue in which workers rejected the government offer.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Professor Paul Mavima told New Ziana that negotiations would continue on Thursday this week to iron out some sticking issues.

“Negotiations are continuing. There are a few sticking points that can be resolved. They will sit again on Thursday to continue with the negotiations,” he said.

The minister, however, refused to divulge details of the revised Government offer.

“We are not going to disclose what we offered. But the fact that they went back to the negotiating table means there was a variation. We would not go back without a variation,” he said.

Secretary general of the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Workers Unions, Mr David Dzatsunga, confirmed that the Government brought a refined salary offer at last Friday’s round of talks, adding the two sides had agreed not to divulge the new package to the public.

“The Government did come up with a substantially reviewed offer, which was a fairly reasonable response to our demands.

“The offer, though it was speaking to our counter offer, there were some sticking points of equality where we felt that all workers should be treated equally. Within their offer, there were some measures that we felt would, in a way, divide the workers,” he said.

Mr Dzatsunga said negotiators also did not agree on when the new payment would be effected.

“We are saying that the reviewed salaries should be backdated to January while the Government offer is from April 1st. We are going to have to persuade them to backdate the offer,” said Dzatsunga.

In the negotiations, the workers were demanding US$840 for the lowest paid member, up from US$540 that they previously lobbied for in the past.

The Government, citing budgetary constraints, consistently rejected the demands for US$540, and instead offered an allowance of US$200 across the board.

-New Ziana

Article Source: The Chronicle

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