No compromise on pay dates: Workers

HARARE - Civil servants have declared that they will not accept anything short of a commitment by government to pay their July salaries in full when they meet their employers today.

The civil servants, most of whom received their June salaries this month after government failed to pay them on time, said they will not accept staggered payments.

Apex Council spokesperson George Mushipe told the Daily News yesterday that workers will not accept anything less.

Last month, civil servants held three meetings with the ministers of Labour, Finance and Health as well as Reserve Bank Governor and Health Services Board chairperson to reach an understanding on the now troublesome salaries issue.

Then, government through Labour minister Prisca Mupfumira argued that because of the country’s economic situation and cash shortages, it could not afford to pay civil servants their salaries in June and had to stagger the pay dates.

“As you already know we were advanced $100 from our salaries with the rest coming in on July 7. Tomorrow (today) we do not want to be negotiating about salaries as we want our money in the month it has been worked for. We do not want any more disruptions to service delivery,” Mushipe said.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe warned of further strikes if government did not pay workers their salaries on time.

Majongwe said as workers they would vote with their feet and hands and send a clear message to government that they will not run away with what the civil servants earned.

“We learnt from the war veterans that if you want anything from government use your feet, run on the street, get arrested and get beaten.

“If that is what government wants us to do the flesh is here ready to be beaten. We are not just fighting and making unnecessary noise but are demanding what is legitimately ours.

“Any worker that does not stand up to fight for his cause will only have themselves to blame, because we are talking of a government that knows how to consume money by buying expensive vehicles, staying in hotels and flying all over the world,” Majongwe said.

He added that if government is sincere on paying them their salaries on time then it should borrow the money.

He also said piecemeal offers of $100 advances would not sustain civil servants’ families.

“Once we are told the June salaries will be paid in July and so forth we may actually end up having three months of unpaid work. Many companies and parastatals such as National Railways of Zimbabwe and the Grain Marketing Board collapsed because workers were promised their salaries in such a way,” Majongwe said.

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