Zimbabwe proposes higher wage increase for civil servants: unions group

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MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JANUARY, 15 (RUSSIA OUT) President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa is seen during Russian-Zimbabwean meeting at the Kremlin, in Moscow, Russia, January, 15, 2019. Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa is having his first visit to Russia. (Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa at a past event. Zimbabwe’s government has offered to raise public sector wages by 76%, according to the umbrella group for public sector unions. (Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)

An umbrella for public sector unions in Zimbabwe on Friday said that the government had offered to increase public sector wages by 76 percent.

The offer is a significant increase from an initial offer of 10 percent in January, which the unions refused. The increase would have come into effect in April.

However, the group, known as APEX Council, maintained that the offer still fell short of their demand. The current offer means that the lowest paid government worker’s monthly pay would be 1,023 Zimbabwe dollars. The council is demanding that the monthly pay for such workers should be 4,750 dollars.

The council said that negotiations with the government would restart on Tuesday in addition to consulting with its members on the improved offer.

In March, workers accepted a 29 percent salary increase with the government arguing that it would ease the burden of double-digit inflation.

Soaring consumer prices, reflected in inflation which reached a decade-long high of 175.66% in June, have eroded incomes and compounded an economic crisis marked by the shortage of foreign currency, fuel and electricity, among other basics.

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