Civil servants including teachers, and health workers will now only be working for two days per week. According to the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) which was formerly known as the Apex council, civil servants will only work on Mondays and Tuesdays until the government heeds their calls for a pay rise.

The government and the union which covers a staggering 12 affiliated unions are embroiled in the latest pay dispute. Currently teachers are already working for only three days a week which are Monday Tuesday and Wednesday. Despite angry statements from the government that lessons were to be conducted for five days a week all schools we surveyed are having lessons for only 3 days a week. The exception is when teachers conduct private extra-lessons for which most are charging between US$1-US$5 per student per week.

The government had proposed a staggered 70% pay increase which would have seen salaries increased by 25% this month and 45% in July but civil servants were not amused. They accuse the government of double standards. The government has been increasing the prices of utilities and fuel to pre-2017 prices when the country used the US dollar. Currently fuel is selling for over US$1.30 per litre which is even higher than the 2017 watershed period. In comparison salaries have remained very low and in most cases less than half of the 2017 salaries.

During the USD era the lowest public sectors workers earned around US$540 but after the offer on the table comes into effect the lowest earned employee will take home around US$199 in April and US$243 in July after the last increase, provided of course that the rate remains the same. These figures are also being calculated using the official rate which has become fixed for all intents and purposes.

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