Diamonds 'key to Zim civil service pay'
Cape Town - Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has called for an urgent address to civil servants’ plight after a strike resumed following failed talks on doubling wages.
A newsletter published in the prime minister's office quoted Tsvangirai as saying that transparency in the accounting of diamond revenue remained key to civil servants’ remuneration.
“The plight of civil servants is a critical issue that requires urgent government attention and transparency in the accounting of diamond revenues will go a long way in mitigating the conditions of civil servants,” Tsvangirai said.
The strike, which has hit public schools the hardest, resumed after unions on Wednesday rejected a $240m blanket offer from government.
If spread evenly among government's 230 000 employees, they would each receive an $87 a month increase, far less than their demand for basic wages to rise from $200 to $538 a month.
Government workers began the five-day strike on Monday to press for a doubling of their salaries, medical insurance and an allowance for workers based in rural areas.
Unions suspended the strike on Wednesday to allow the talks to proceed, but said their action would continue for the rest of the week after negotiations failed to reach a settlement.
Government departments have continued to work as usual, with unions accusing bosses of intimidating their employees to keep them from the joining the strike.