Felex Share Senior Reporter
Government has further increased its salary offer to civil servants from $300 million to $350 million amid reports that a deal is likely to be hammered when the two parties meet again on Tuesday.
The employer met civil servants’ representatives on Tuesday and yesterday under the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) to continue with their salary negotiations.
Yesterday’s meeting included officials from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, who were unpacking the monetary policy the central bank presented recently and the current exchange rates.
Government tabled an improved offer of $350 million which is set to shared by workers in the civil service as an increment from April to December this year. The employer is also working on increasing sector-specific allowances for its workers beginning April.
Apex Council chairperson Mrs Cecelia Alexander said discussions were still ongoing.
“We have not yet finalised and we still hope that there will be some improvement,” she said, declining to reveal the new Government offer.
“It is our hope that on Tuesday we are going to bring finality to this issue of the cost of living adjustment. In today’s (yesterday) meeting we invited the RBZ which was unpacking the Monetary Policy Statement and issues around the exchange rate. We hope the presentations made will guide our members.”
A source who attended the NJNC, however, said: “Government brought a revised figure of $350 million and the workers are likely to put pen to paper on Tuesday when we meet again,” said the source.
“The workers appreciate Government efforts in trying to give the best to its workers. Various non-monetary incentives are being worked on and they are coming into fruition with the latest being that of duty-free cars.”
Government has given civil servants the green light to import cars duty-free. A Statutory Instrument to that effect has been put in place by Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube.
Those who have been in the service for 10 years qualify to import motor vehicles up to a maximum of US$10 000. Government recently unveiled a $60 million housing facility for civil servants as part of the non-monetary incentives.
A Memorandum of Agreement between the employer and the National Building Society (NBS) on the rollout of the project is in place.
This is part of Government’s commitment to provide decent and affordable housing to the people, mostly civil servants and among President Mnangagwa’s interventions to alleviate hardship among citizens on the back of austerity.