The government has given Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) employees in grades 8 to 15 a 60% pay rise from July 2022 to avert a crippling strike and the resulting water crisis in all the countries.
The Minister of Civil Service, Labor and Social Affairs, Paul Mavima, confirmed the increase in the latest Official Gazette under Statutory Instrument 191 of 2022 or Collective Agreement: Zinwa.
“The gross minimum wage is $144,113 effective July 1, 2022,” reads the SI.
“The parties have agreed to increase the current base salary by sixty percent (60%) for employees in grades 15 through 8 only, resulting in a minimum base salary of $117,606.
The employer and the union have reached the stated agreement.
Housing allowance will remain at 10% of basic salary while water and electricity allowance will also remain at 5% of basic salary.
The transportation allowance was maintained at US$22 per month payable at the prevailing interbank rate.
Zinwa is a fully government-owned entity – under the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Climate – responsible for managing the country’s water resources.
It supplies raw water to all local authorities, including Harare and Bulawayo, as well as bulk treated water to some townships such as Karoi and Murombedzi which then supply residents.
In August, workers threatened to strike over poor working conditions.
Disgruntled workers, among others, demanded a US dollar component to hedge against rising inflation and soaring costs of living.
“We earn peanuts and say we should at least get an allowance of $170 plus local currency to at least match the officials, but it fell on deaf ears,” said an employee who asked not to be named for fear of being victimized.
“Meanwhile, managers are paying themselves stipends in USD and the board is also receiving stipends in USD while the rest of us languish in abject poverty. This is just unfair,” another disgruntled employee added.
Public and private sector workers demand wages in US dollars to make ends meet.
The government partially pays civil servants in US dollars and announced a US dollar bonus last week, including a fixed presidential bonus of $200.