GOVERNMENT has pampered soldiers and the police with a 400% salary increase, putting the uniformed forces among the highest-paid civil servants.
According to information gathered by NewsDay, least paid soldiers are now earning U$250 after a US$50 increment this month, plus at least $450 000 in local currency.
Police officers also received a pay rise this month with the least-paid now earning US$250 and around $250 000.
Teachers remain the least paid government workers with at least $36 000 and US$120 salary, plus US$75 COVID-19 allowance.
Government on Friday last week offered a 100% increment to the local currency salary component for other non-uniformed forces under the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) which would see teachers earning at least $70 000 in local currency.
Government also offered a US$50 increment that will see the lowest-paid worker earning US$250 which the workers rejected.
Civil servants, however, raised concerns over discrepancies in the government salary grading system, accusing their employer of divide and rule tactics.
Nurses are among the highest-paid with US$200 plus around $500 000.
Public Service ministry secretary Simon Masanga referred questions to the Public Service Commission (PSC)
“They are the ones who deal with conditions of service,” Masanga said.
PSC secretary Tsitsi Choruma was not reachable for comment.
Public Service minister Paul Mavhima was also not picking calls.
ZCPSTU secretary-general, David Dzatsunga, said the workers’ body was optimistic that government would concede to its demands.
Under the NJNC, ZCPSTU is demanding a salary increment that will see the lowest-paid worker earning US$840.
“We do not have the same salary directorate with the uniformed forces,” Dzatsunga said.
“Government is however cherry-picking sectors on salary increment for reasons best known to them. We have raised it under the NJNC but we did not get satisfactory responses. In the past, we were all under the same grading system, so what happened
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Ptuz) secretary-general, Raymond Majongwe, said teachers were expecting the same increment scale as the uniformed forces.
“We are happy for the soldiers. If they increased salaries for soldiers by that margin, they must do the same for the teachers,” Majongwe said.
“If they don’t, it will be a selective application of labour standards. We are all sons and daughters of this government and government must be reminded that we are all voters. We must enjoy the same benefits.”
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure, thanked government for realising the urgency to review salaries.
“The cost of living continues to rise; it is only fair to review salaries upwards. Teachers are also expecting an upward review of their salaries to around US$1 260. Government should not discriminate against any section of employees as this may trigger attrition between employer and employees,” Masaraure said.
“We are hopeful that government will not frustrate the legitimate expectations of the hard-working teachers.”