Teachers, health workers give govt two-week strike notice

HARARE – Public service workers led by teachers and nurses have issued a two-week ultimatum to government to attend to their wage demands failure to which they will embark on another strike.

The country’s restive public workforce wants government to its US dollar salaries as was the case during the unity government period and a couple of years after.

Civil servants, who earn their salaries in Zim-dollars, argue that the much-resented local currency continues to lose value through inflation, thereby compounding their financial woes.

They have proposed, alternatively, a blended salary of ‘4 parts USD and 6 parts Zimbabwean dollar with the local currency component expected to rise by 12 percent monthly over the next six months.

In a statement on Tuesday, civil servants, under their various umbrella groups, threatened to down their tools in the next 14 days if government does not meet their demands.

“The Public Service Association (PSA), the Federation of Zimbabwe Educators Unions, the Federation of Educators Unions of Zimbabwe and Nurses Federation of Zimbabwe hereby give notice of a services wide industrial action within 14 days of the date of this notice.

“Be advised that the industrial action hereby notified is in respect of a long overdue cost of living adjustment that speaks to the food basket that now stands at ZWL114 000 against the latest adjustment to ZWL36 000 for the lowest paid worker,” they said.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare secretary Simon Masanga on Tuesday told the media that negotiations with civil servants were going on.

“As far as we are concerned as a government, we have agreed with the workers’ team led by Ms Cecilia Alexander that we are having a meeting of the National Joint Negotiating Council on Monday next week to discuss the issues and conditions of civil servants. I don’t want to say much, all I can say is that it’s a continuation of negotiations,” Masanga said.

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