The civil workforce in Zimbabwe faces an uncertain future due to ongoing wage negotiations with the government which seem to be bearing no fruit. At the forefront of the current negotiations is the Apex Council of public sector unions led by the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) who are in negotiations with the Public Service ministry led by Lucia Matibenga. Zimta is part of the Apex council which is a bargaining body with three other civil servants’ unions namely, Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe and the Public Service Association.
The majority of the civil servants in Zimbabwe are earning well below the poverty datum line with the lowest paid civil servant earning close to $180 a month. The unions in Zimbabwe who represent the civil servants are unhappy at the protracted negotiations which have borne few results. The offer by government is seen as very low and falls well short of their demands. The unions are demanding that the minimum wage for government workers should be $538 a month which is on par with the poverty datum line estimated to be $540 by the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ). However, the blanket offer by the government of $240 million would lead to an increase of the civil servants’ salaries by close to $90. Although this increment is above the inflation rates, it will be unable to cushion the employees against the rising cost of living given their already low salaries.