Civil servants get 40% cost of living adjustment

By ZBC Reporter

The government will pay the latest 40 per cent cost-of-living salary adjustment into the bank accounts of civil servants starting today, while negotiations continue with unions representing civil servants over a final agreement on wages and other employment terms.

The adjustment, and the continuation of the US$75 a month Covid-19 allowance, are interim steps taken by the Government to help cushion its employees while the negotiations are in progress.

In the spirit of progression and opening up of the economy, the government has shed more light on issues surrounding Covid-19 testing, the opening of schools and its position regarding civil servants’ salaries.

Speaking at a media briefing in Harare this Thursday, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa reinforced government’s commitment to improving the welfare of its workers adding that any agreement arrived at by the National Joint Negotiating Council will be honoured.

“Government is aware of the challenges facing civil servants including teachers and is committed to improving the welfare of its workers. Consultations are currently underway to consider the request by the Apex Council in the last negotiating meeting held with Government.

“Meanwhile, negotiations at the National Joint Negotiating Council will continue and any agreement arrived at will be honoured in the spirit of collective bargaining. Government has had a long history of negotiating with its workers in good faith and increases negotiated should not work against the stability that has been achieved on the financial markets and price stability as this will fuel inflation again and erode the gains we have achieved. I appeal to civil servants to be patient and allow negotiations to be concluded,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

Minister Mutsvangwa also clarified the issue of Covid-19 testing at the country’s ports of entry.

“In order to facilitate faster and easier discharge of returnees, it was decided that those travellers who presented Covid-19 free certificates issued 48 hours from departure would be discharged for self-quarantine.

“However, those travellers who displayed COVID-19 symptoms regardless of having a valid COVID-19 free certificate will have to be tested at Ports of Entry, along with those who do not have COVID-19 certificates.”

On the issue of re-opening of schools, she said the government is putting in place provisions to ensure learners catch up and move to the next level in 2021.

“Presently, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is seized with finalising catch-up learning strategies for learners so that they make up the time lost during the COVID-19 lockdown. Bearing in mind that our children have not been in class for 6 months, those who are writing national examinations are receiving accelerated catch-up learning to prepare for their exams.

“Measures are underway for Phase 2 and 3 learners to also hit the ground running, through remedial support programmes. Our goal as Government is to make sure that learners will proceed to their next grades in 2021 having caught up with their lessons. Schools will therefore close on 18 December 2020 and re-open early on 4 January 2021 to make up for the lost time.”