Zimbabwe’s cash-strapped government has raised salaries for state employees by 55 % in the hope of slowing a drain of skilled workers, but the move may not be enough to placate angry labour unions.
Civil servants have been drawing a monthly allowance of $100 (R777) after the government switched to using multiple foreign currencies in January.
With the introduction of a new salary grading system, they would earn at least $155 (R1205), Reuters reports.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti said in a mid-year budget speech last week that the government would increase salaries for its employees but did not give figures.
“This increase has been necessitated by high costs of rentals, fuel, school levies and other utilities,” the official Herald newspaper quoted Public Services Minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro as saying.
“The workers who have been thinking of moving out will stay because of our promissory note.”
But unions for teachers, who make up the largest number of government employees, have been demanding a minimum monthly salary of $400 (R3110) and had threatened to boycott work if their demands were not met.
Union leaders were not immediately available for comment.
Millions of Zimbabweans have fled to neighbouring countries and to Europe and UnS seeking better jobs.
A fragile unity government formed by President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is struggling to persuade Western donors to release badly needed aid to revive the economy.
Zimbabwe says it needs $10 billion (R77 billion) to help repair pot-holed roads, bare hospitals and dilapidated schools.