Public sector workers in Zimbabwe have been offered a 10 percent pay rise starting in July this year ahead of a general election.
The move was confirmed on Tuesday by the Apex Council, a body that represents all government workers in the Southern African country.
The offer by the government to increase salaries and allowances for all its workers is coming weeks after a row between some public sector workers and government over their working conditions.
The country’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said that his administration is working hard to prevent series of strikes by public workers in order to create a peaceful atmosphere ahead of key elections later this year.
The proposed 10 percent increase according to the workers’ union is still far lower than workers’ demands. The workers are demanding 100 percent increase in salaries.
Apex Council chairperson Cecilia Alexander had said that the government agreed to reduce rentals for workers living in state-owned houses and restore long vacation leave for teachers.
“As Apex Council, we said government should go back and increase the offer while we carry out the exercise of also consulting our members,” Alexander said.
Negotiations are expected to resume next week on these demands. Meanwhile teachers who had threatened not to go to work on Tuesday over conditions of work have now said they would give talks a chance.
The latest move by the government could increase its 2018 budget deficit as the new president promises to revive the country’s ailing economy.