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Zimbabwe Govt Workers Reject Pay Offer, Public Health Strike Looms

Zimbabwe Govt Workers Reject Pay Offer, Public Health Strike Looms…    Zimbabwe government workers on Friday rejected a below-inflation 100% wage hike offer, demanding payment in United States dollars, as a state healthworker union said it would begin a job boycott on Monday.

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Zimbabwe Govt Workers Reject Pay Offer, Public Health Strike Looms

 

The workers are pushing the government for payment in US dollars, saying their current wages have been eroded by inflation, which rose to 131.7% in May. The lowest paid government worker currently earns a basic salary of 18,000 Zimbabwe dollars ($53.18).

The wages are worth far less at the black market rate of about 600 Zimbabwe dollars to the US dollar, which is widely used in the economy. Although Zimbabwe reintroduced its very currency in 2019, it circulates alongside the greenback, which was adopted as legal tender in 2009 after the local unit’s decimation by hyperinflation.

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At a meeting with government negotiators on Friday, the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) demanded $840 per month for the lowest paid worker.

“The meeting failed to reach a consensus after the employer initially brought an offer of 80%, which would see the lowest paid civil servant move from 18,000 to 32,000 Zimbabwe dollars, before upping the offer to 100%, which the workers flatly rejected,” the union said in a statement.

Government officials were not immediately available to comment.

The government faces additional pressure from nurses and doctors, who have called for a strike starting on Monday to press for higher pay.

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“As the government health workers of Zimbabwe, it is with regret that we inform the general public that we have taken a decision to withdraw our labour, effective Monday, 20 June, 2022,” the Zimbabwe Health Apex Council said in a statement on Friday.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took over from Robert Mugabe in a 2017 coup, has struggled to end an economic crisis that started under his predecessor.

 

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