Abigail Mawonde Herald Reporter
Government is always ready to review the salaries of civil servants whenever revenues permit and this year is no exception, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira has said.
Minister Mupfumira said it was not Government policy not to increase salaries for civil servants in 2015 and that once revenue inflows improved, remuneration will be reviewed.
She said this in a statement reacting to recent media reports that Government had ruled out a pay rise this year.
“In fact, Government has said that it is willing to improve the working conditions of the civil servants even beyond the poverty datum line if revenue inflows improve.
“It is imperative to note that Government is concerned with the welfare of civil servants and is working tirelessly to improve their working conditions.”
Minister Mupfumira said Government’s willingness to improve the welfare of its workers was shown by the measures it had put in place which include non-monetary incentives.
“The Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing has been engaged by the Public Service Commission to avail land for residential purposes in cities and towns and growth points. So far land has been identified and modalities are being worked out to allocate land to civil servants.”
Minister Mupfumira said Government had also engaged NSSA in the provision of housing to civil servants.
“To this effect, NSSA is in the process of establishing a building society which would assist civil servants by accessing affordable housing loans and stands. A $50 million investment has already been set aside. Cabinet approved the matter and NSSA is now waiting the launch.”
Minister Mupfumira revealed that Government was in the process of establishing a national health insurance scheme to make medical aid accessible and affordable to all.
“Lastly, civil servants should be assured that it is not Government policy not to increase salaries in 2015. Once revenue inflows improve, salaries can always be reviewed. The Tripartite Negotiating Forum has been revitalised and the social partners are committed to engagement in ways that seek to improve the socio-economic situation of the country.
“The position of the Government Negotiating Team has been given to the workers’ representatives. It is expected that they are now studying that position in order for negotiations to resume in good faith.”