Yesterday the Apex Council which represents the bulk of civil servant unions issued a statement in which they said they appreciated the government’s $75 USD Covid-19 allowance offer but they couldn’t accept it. They said the offer was based on unilateral pronouncements by the government and therefore should be subjected to negotiations before it can be accepted.

Matters to do with conditions of service have to be a product of consultations between social partners at forums provided for at law. No party should unilaterally decide for others as is the case here.

Apex council stands by its position paper that it presented to the NJNC (National Joint Negotiating Council) demanding that salaries be paid in USD and that the figure be a product of negotiations.

The civil service Apex council appreciates the government’s efforts to address the plight of its workers, and the acknowledgement though belated, that the economy has dollarised and so should salaries. This, therefore, buttresses our call for an urgent NJNC to deliberate on salaries and conditions of workers in order to co-own the outcomes as demanded for at the law.

Apex Council chairperson Cecilia Alexander

The rejection follows an offer by the government which will see civil servant’s salaries increased by 50% in addition to a $75 USD nostro deposit into the accounts of civil servants. Civil servants have frequently complained of incapacitation saying inflation has wiped away most of their salaries making them poor.