Council workers representatives have sent demands to urban local authorities for workers’ salaries to be paid in United States dollars.
The Zimbabwe Urban Council Workers Union (ZUCWU) said the salaries of council workers had been rendered useless by the exchange rate and macro-economic state.
The demands are contained in a letter by the ZUCWU General Secretary Kudakwashe Munengiwa sent to town clerks and town secretaries.
“Reference is made to the recent developments of the directive on the implementation of the payment of US$75 Covid-19 risk allowance to civil servants and US$30 to pensioners in hard currency.
“(This) is following the payment of civil servants 2021 bonuses in the same.
“Bearing in mind that local authorities are also public entities, we implore you to follow the government’s leadership on the same,” Munengiwa wrote.
Munengiwa said councils were also receiving some payments from residents in hard currency
“It is public knowledge that local authorities are charging some of their services in USD$ and accepting the same currency for payments at a rate that is to their discretion, not necessarily the formal Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe prescribed rate.
“It is on that note that we are requesting that local authority employees be paid at least 50 percent of their salaries in hard currency.”
He said the prevailing economic reality was that fuel, rentals and some basic services and goods are now paid in hard currency.
“Paying 50 percent of salaries in hard currency would go a long way in cushioning them”, Munengiwa said.
Treasury has made commitments to pay Covid-19 risk allowances in USD while Government has promised better salaries for civil servants in 2022.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Professor Paul Mavima said government would table an improved offer to civil servants.