Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
GOVERNMENT has awarded civil servants a RTGS$400 once-off cushioning allowance across the board this month as salary negotiations continue.
This came out of yesterday’s meeting between Government and the Apex Council to improve the welfare of Government workers.
Apex Council president, Mrs Cecilia Alexander, yesterday confirmed the latest development.
“Following the meeting held today (yesterday) between the Government and the Apex Council to deliberate on the cushioning allowance, an agreement has been reached.
“Through further negotiations and dialogue, we’ve achieved to make the Government pay each civil servant the sum of RTGS$400 as a once off payment together with the salary of July regardless of one’s grade,” said Mrs Alexander.
She said Government had brought different offers ranging from 25 percent of total earnings of a civil servant to 50 percent, which the Apex Council turned down.
Mrs Alexander said the Apex Council’s call for Government to spread evenly the cushioning allowances across all civil servants was informed by the realisation that government employees suffer the same fate due to the economic challenges.
“Our focus now is on COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) which is supposed to be effected in August. To this end, we hope the dialogue will take cognisance of the Poverty Datum Line (PDL) and other issues. We have already indicated that in our position paper,” said Mrs Alexander.
She said civil servants want value for their salaries, which has been in the past months eroded by inflation.
Prices are, however, slowly declining since the removal of the multiple currency system through Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Sekai Nzenza could not be reached for comment last night.
However, on Wednesday she said Government was aware of the plight of its workers and fully understands the difficult situation given the rising cost of basic commodities.
The Minister said her ministry is positive that the newly enacted Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) Act will enable positive dialogue with both business and workers on socio-economic issues affecting the country.— @pamelashumba1