The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions yesterday said the 22% salary increment awarded to soldiers has triggered more unions to press for higher pay, and will result in government printing money to pay civil servants.

ZCTU secretary-general, Japhet Moyo told NewsDay that teachers were already pushing government to up their salary by as much as 17,5% to 22%.

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He said bankers and other workers were also clamouring for a 22% increment after employers offered an average of 3,8% adjustments.

“The Apex Council which is represented by our member Zimta only got a 17,5% increment, and we are a bit disturbed that the police and soldiers got 20% and 22% increments respectively,” Moyo said.

“When we first negotiated with the employer we wanted more than 22% at Apex level, and through our representative Zimta, but the employer refused and said they cannot afford more than 17, 5% yet the soldiers got 22%.”

Moyo said whilst it could be adjudged as vote buying to increase police and soldiers’ salaries a few days towards elections, the increments should have come way back in January.

“The exchange rate has gone up and the salaries have already been eroded by inflation and even these increases leave a lot to be desired. Already other workers are complaining.

“The increases were supposed to be in January, and so they came very late. It could be a coincidence that they came towards elections,” he said.

Moyo said other workers were surprised that government went as high as 22% because other sectors only went as high as 3,8%, including the banking sector.

“What this means is that it will increase pressure on all employers to offer increments of 22%. It also means that government is most likely to be printing money to pay its employees. The government has set a pace at 22% and no worker is going to accept less than that. Workers in the banking sector are already making a lot of noise,” he said.

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