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Paltry Cushioning Allowance Irks Govt Workers

Civil servants have chastised the cushioning allowance Government has put in place demanding a basic pay rise in line with prevailing inflationary developments.

Yesterday Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mthuli Ncube announced a cushioning allowance for civil servants within the range of ZWL$ 400 and 750 depending on salary grade but the offer hit a brick wall with government workers evidently not amused.

“The cushioning allowance is another insulting vegetable solution to the crisis we are facing. We do not need to be cushioned but to be remunerated for the quality services we offer,”

“Those who are proposing cushions are anti-people. They want to destroy our education sector and the future of our children. We stand ready to defend quality public education for our people. We will not go back to work until we receive inter bank rate indexed salaries,” Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president, Obert Masaraure told 263Chat.

Last week public workers representatives rejected a 100 percent wage rise from government that will see the least-paid worker take home ZWL$2 033 from ZWL$1 023 per month.

The latest incentive has also failed to persuade workers appetite either.

Civil servants are demanding a wage equivalent of US$ 475 based on the prevailing inter bank rate.

However, another round of negotiations is expected to take place during the course of the week following a stalemate in yesterday’s crunch meeting between government and more than 15 civil servants’ associations.

“They said they are incapacitated, hence there is need to peg their salaries equivalent to US$475 at the inter bank rate for the minimum worker,” Public Service Association president Mrs Cecilia Alexander was quoted by a local newspaper.

There are fears that teachers may be planning to go on strike if ongoing engagements with the employer continue to delay a favorable wage outcome with the opening of schools today.

However, the finance Minister is optimistic that negotiations will reach mutual ground despite yesterday’s gridlock.

“Those negotiations are making progress. When negotiating there can be disagreements and that is normal. But we as the employer, we are going to make sure there is a decent salary for civil servants,” he said.

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