Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Office Manager
The year started on a positive note for civil servants, as they started receiving a monthly Covid-19 risk allowance of USD 75 from the government.
Pensioners receive allowances of $30.
Payments started last week.
This follows a decision late last year by the government to pay civil servants’ bonuses in US dollars.
The government has said the welfare of civil servants will improve this year and already pay negotiations under the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) have started with the Apex Council – an umbrella body that represents civil servants – applauding their employer for engaging in negotiations to improve working conditions.
The first meeting of the NJNC took place on January 14.
The Second Republic has steadily reviewed civil servant salaries and benefits over the past four years, but rising inflation has eroded the gains.
In an interview yesterday, the Minister for Civil Service, Labor and Social Affairs, Professor Paul Mavima, confirmed that civil servants had started receiving their monthly hazard allowance of US$75 in US dollars.
“Yes. I can confirm that everyone who got paid, and that’s the majority, received their $75 stipend, paid into nostro accounts and accessible in hard cash,” he said.
Professor Mavima said the government is always ready to listen to the concerns and expectations of officials.
“The Second Republic remains committed to improving the working conditions of its workers and has repeatedly reviewed their conditions of service. Unfortunately, every time there is a raise for civil servants, the price of goods and services goes up. But the government is working to solve this problem,” he said.
Apex Council Deputy Secretary General Mr Gibson Mushangu said their members had started receiving the US$75 Covid-19 stipends in hard cash.
“Yes, our members started receiving the January allowances. We appreciate the government for honoring their promise and we hope and look forward to a great year where the employer pays us salaries in foreign currency.
This matter is still before the NJNC,” he said.
In the 2022 national budget, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube, planned to spend $340 billion on civil servant salaries and wages and pensions.
In addition, the government will provide a host of non-monetary benefits, including residential housing, home and vehicle loan programs, as well as start-up capital to the Government Employees Mutual Savings Bank.
Presenting the 2022 National Budget in November last year, Prof Ncube said: ‘The doors of government remain open to structured negotiations with workers’ unions on any measure that would improve their well-being and productivity’ .
In the budget, $1.8 billion has been allocated for the Civil Servants Housing Loan Scheme, while the duty-free import facility for civil servants already in place will continue in the future under the government’s commitment to improving their welfare through non-monetary incentives. .