Civil servants strike AGAIN!

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    Keith T Mambo
    Keith T Mambo
    Keith T. Mambo is currently a reporter for ZiMetro News . He focuses on identity politics for The Southern Eye. He was previously a fellow at the UCT University of Cape Town for Political Science.

    Civil servants strike AGAIN!

    Civil servants will go on strike on Wednesday and Thursday this week, demanding US dollar salaries at the same level as before October 2018, when Zimbabwe lifted the 1:1 peg between the US dollar and the bond note.

    The government increased salaries by 100% this month, but unions claim the pay increase was arbitrary and fell far short of their demands for at least US$540 for the lowest-paid worker.

    In June, inflation of 191 percent only roiled workers.

    This month, public sector employees were paid US$175 plus a Covid-19 allowance, as well as a minimum RTGS dollar component of about Z$60,000 (about US$75).

    On July 22, a 14-day notice to the government to avoid strikes expired, and unions have decided to apply pressure through strikes.

    The unions united under the banner of the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSU) made a series of demands in a letter to public service minister Paul Mavhima on Monday.

    “The ZCPSU hereby notify your office of a planned two-day job stoppage beginning on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 and ending on Thursday, July 28, 2022,” they said.

    “We wish to restate our demands as follows: immediate restoration of the value of our wages to pre-October 2018 levels, paid in USD rather than ZWL.”

    “An end to the wave of suspensions, summary dismissals, illegal denials, and victimisation of teachers and nurses for exercising their constitutional right to organise and to a fair and reasonable wage.”

    Unions are also concerned about threats to some of their members and the collapse of PSMAS’s medical aid scheme.

    “The employer should refrain from criticising union leadership for acting as messengers for their voiceless membership,” they said.

    “The employer should fully implement all collective agreements, such as school fees payment for educators’ children, regrading, and performance advancement, as soon as possible.”

    “A speedy alignment of the labour law regime towards the establishment of a long overdue collective bargaining council.”

    Unions also want “the payment of a medical allowance to all civil servants without discrimination.”

    The strike will involve health workers, teachers and the rest of the civil service after all the unions signed up.

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