So we’re in the middle of another civil servants’ strike. Don’t we have one every couple of years? Which is, of course, understandable given that they earn … what was it at last count? $150? $200? Guess what:
“Government has presented a resource envelope of $240 million as salary increment for the year 2012, an ambiguous offer, shrouded with many employment obligations,” the Apex Council, which represents all unions, said in a statement last night.
Takavafira Zhou, president of the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), said the package translated to $7 increment for the lowest paid worker once unpacked.
Wait … what? Yeah, that’s a load of crap. Look, we all want these people to get paid; they are after all the biggest spending bloc in the Zimbabwean economy. Civil service dollars translate to dollars across the whole economy, especially for retailers, construction workers and pleasure engineers.
But this? This is insulting. Especially for teachers, who have had to contend with bullshit treatment by the powers-that-be for years and years. Who can’t forget the times teachers have been hounded from their rural schools during periods of political turmoil, suffering persecution whilst their minister looked on.
Looked on whilst conjuring schemes like a single uniform for all schools (really?) and the right to dictate private school fees (I mean, really?).
So yeah, I’m not surprised the teachers (et al) have marked the government “Can do better”. It’s just not fair.
Wanna know what else is not fair? Earning peanuts because of a bloated wage bill, with no accountability and blatantly flouted hiring procedures. That’s why a civil service audit was conducted, to weed out ghost, absentee and unqualified workers, streamline the wage bill and ensure that the right people were being paid a larger share of the pie.
Whatever happened to that civil service audit anyway?