Zim reaches agreement with Apex Council on cost of living adjustments

By Almot Maqolo

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Zimbabwe government says it has reached an agreement with the Apex Council, an umbrella body for civil servants in salary negotiations, on cost of living adjustments but talk for improvements will continue.

This follows the successful conclusion of negotiations between the government and its workers on remuneration yesterday.

“I wish to congratulate the National Joint Negotiating Council for reaching an agreement following protracted negotiations between the government and the Apex Council,” Public Service Minister, Professor Paul Mavima.

The agreement provides for an average salary increase of 41% of the total package (basic salary + transport allowance + housing allowance + special civil service allowance + representation where applicable) effective from 1 November 2020.

Also annual bonus that is inclusive of transport and housing allowances on a staggered basis in November and December 2020.

Mavima said the government prioritizes the health and safety of workers in the public sector.

“It is in this regard that the government awarded a 10% special Covid-19 Risk Allowance to those in the teaching fraternity given the predisposition to Covid-19 in their work. Teachers join other frontline staff who were receiving the Covid-19 risk allowance,” he said.

“I also note with firm hope that there is agreement to continue negotiations with a view to continuously improve conditions of service. As a government, we look forward to the road map, which parties to the NJNC are expected to conclude by the end of January 2021. The roadmap will provide for continuous improvement of conditions of services.”

He said: “It is important to note that the economic outlook for the country looks promising in view of a projected better agricultural season and sustained foreign exchange stability. It is also our hope that the current price stability will prevail given our desire to retain the purchasing power of salaries and wages.”

“Such macroeconomic fundamentals will undoubtedly give room for improving the conditions of service for civil servants.”

Mavima said there are some outstanding issues which still need to be finalized and that the parties have agreed to defer them to future negotiations.

“This is the spirit for negotiations as we must allow public service workers to enjoy some relief whilst parties to the NJNC continue to find convergence on all outstanding issues. Issues like outstanding are long time programmes which the government is determined to implement.”

He said: “I wish therefore to take this opportunity to call upon those in the teaching profession to report for duty and deliver services to the learners as we strive to regain time lost due to Covid-19. As government, we appreciate the noble profession and will always attempt to provide better working conditions. Yours is a noble profession because you carry the future of the nation.”

“To the rest of government employees who continued and still continue to render essential services we salute you for your determination. This is the spirit which will drive this country to success,” he added.

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