Bongani Ndlovu, Chronicle Reporter
REPRESENTATIVES of civil servants and Government are set to meet today for a fresh round of salary negotiations with the employees saying they are cautiously optimistic.
The parties are expected to hold a National Joint Negotiating Committee (NJNC) meeting to deliberate on the welfare of Government workers.
They will be meeting for the first time this year at an indaba that is expected to lay the guiding framework of how public sector wages and living conditions will be made better throughout the year.
Government has since said it will be paying its employees Covid-19 allowances in foreign currency.
Civil servants will receive their US$75 monthly Covid-19 risk allowance in cash as well as pensioners their US$30 allowances. In 2021, Government paid bonuses in US dollars.
Speaking to Zimpapers Television Network (ZTN), Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Professor Paul Mavima said they would meet their employees as they have their best interests.
“We have our position but obviously cannot disclose before we meet with the employees.
Whatever the outcome, we shall go back to Cabinet where the issue will be discussed. As the employer, we have the best interest of the civil servants at heart,” said Minister Mavima.
Workers say they are optimistic but cautious ahead of the meeting, with Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions secretary-general Mr David Dzatsunga saying they are ready for the talks.
“We are obviously cautiously optimistic because we are still happy with what is in the kitty and what they are going to bring.
But we don’t want to celebrate prematurely,” said Mr Dzatsunga.
Last month, civil servants said they hoped Government would accede to their request for salaries to be paid in foreign currency as the country starts a New Year saying this will improve their standards of living.
Government employees said at that time that payment of bonuses in foreign currency has given them hope for a better 2022.
Government paid workers bonuses in foreign currency as a way of cushioning them from an inflationary environment.
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