Government has awarded Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) employees in grades 8 to 15 a 60% a pay rise effective July 2022 to avert a crippling strike and resultant country-wide water crisis.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Paul Mavima confirmed the increment in the latest Government Gazette under Statutory Instrument 191 of 2022 or Collective Bargaining Agreement: Zinwa.
“The gross minimum salary is $144,113 effective July 1, 2022,” read the SI.
“Parties agreed to increase the current basic salary by sixty per cent (60%) for employees in grades 15 to 8 only, resulting in a minimum basic salary of $117 606.”
The employer and trade union arrived at the agreement set forth.
Housing allowance shall remain at 10% of basic salary while water and electricity allowance shall also remain at 5% of basic salary.
Transport allowance was maintained at US$$22 per month to be paid at the prevailing interbank rate.
Zinwa is a wholly government-owned entity- which falls under the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Climate- tasked with managing the country’s water resources.
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It supplies raw water to all local authorities, including Harare and Bulawayo as well as bulk treated water to some councils such as Karoi and Murombedzi who then supply residents.
In August, workers threatened to go on strike over poor working conditions.
Disgruntled workers, among other things, demanded a United States dollar component to hedge against rising inflation and skyrocketing cost of living.
“We are earning peanuts and we are saying we should at least get US$170 allowance plus local currency to at least match civil servants, but this has gone on deaf ears,” said an employee who requested not to be named for fear of victimisation.
“Meanwhile, managers are paying themselves USD allowances and the board is also getting USD allowances while the rest of us languish in abject poverty. This is just unfair,” added another disgruntled employee.
Workers in the public and private sectors are demanding United States dollar salaries to make ends meet.
Government partly pays civil servants in United States dollars, and last week announced a US dollar bonus, including a flat US$200 presidential bonus.