The Zimbabwean government today agreed to pay all civil servants a once-off cushioning allowance of Z$400 regardless of one’s grade.
Initially the government had planned to increase the salaries of civil servants by about $100 a month until the end of the year but the employees rejected this.
After further negotiations today the Apex Council, which represents all trade unions for civil servants, said that it had reached an agreement with the government to “pay each and every civil servant the sum of $400.00 as a once-off payment together with the salary of July regardless of one’s grade”.
The Council said that the government brought different offers which ranged from 25% of total earnings of all civil servants to 50% but it “vehemently rejected” the offers because they “fell too short to address the incapacitation faced by civil servants”.
“Our call to have the government’s cushion spread evenly across all civil servants came in the wake that all civil servants suffer the same fate of this hard economic set-up,” the Council said.
“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 cognizance of the PDL (poverty datum line) and other issues. We have already indicated in our position paper.”
It is not yet clear what impact this will have on government spending as Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube has vowed to reduce government spending and has been making surpluses this year.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change has, however ridiculed the surplus, with its vice-president Tendai Biti, who is battling to outshine Ncube saying: “There are some who are celebrating a surplus in the context of a Zimbabwe Dollar when the 2018 budget was in US dollars, a surplus in the context of cash accounting when normal accounting is accrual accounting.
“A surplus in the context of huge deficits in social expenditure… It’s so moronic and myopic to celebrate a surplus that is non-existent and that is expressed in money that has no value at all.”
Ncube said the government was making a surplus in both local and US dollar terms.