WASHINGTON DC —
Civil servants’ representatives met in Harare on Tuesday with government officials in their first joint negotiating meeting in two and a half years.
The union representatives said the meeting was “very inconclusive.”
The new Apex Council chairperson and Zimbabwe Teachers Association president Richard Gundani said they were disappointed because government representatives did not have anything to offer them despite assurances from Labour Minister Nicholas Goche and Civil Service Commission chairman Mariyawanda Nzuwa that the state would effect a token increment before the end of the year.
This follows President Robert Mugabe’s promises during the run-up to the July 31st national elections that he will make sure civil servants get decent salaries before year-end.
Civil servants are demanding that the lowest paid workers get salaries in line with the poverty datum line, currently pegged at $570.
Minister Goche said he was not yet in a position to comment on the joint negotiating meeting saying since the talks were just starting after the two-year hiatus.
Gundani said civil servants are keeping their fingers crossed that at their next meeting the government will have something to offer them.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary Raymond Majongwe also believed that their next meeting with government will yield some positive results.
Majongwe said they also highlighted to the government the problems civil servants were facing when trying to access their salaries from the banks.
“They said they wanted to go back and consult their superiors about our grievances first before they commit themselves and we said we will wait. January is not too far. It is only next week,” said Majongwe.