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Civil servants reject 100% raise, as inflation hits 132%

HARARE – Zimbabwean public servants have rejected an offer for a 100% pay increase from the government of the Southern African nation where inflation surged to 132% last month.

Workers “flatly rejected” the state’s offer to double their pay, the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions said in an emailed statement Friday.

They demand that the lowest paid civil servant get US$840 a month, compared with their current salary of Z$18,000.

Alternatively they want a pay check that includes a mix of the greenback and the local currency.

Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rate jumped to the highest level in a year in May as food prices almost tripled. This was partly due a sharp depreciation in the Zimbabwe dollar that spurred authorities to use a variety of strategies to stem its decline.

The drop in the local currency and surging inflation have increased demand by workers and businesses for payments in the greenback, putting further pressure on the Zimbabwe dollar.

In a separate statement on Friday, the Zimbabwe Health Apex Council said health workers will start striking on June 20 due to prevailing poor service conditions that have caused “more than 4 000 resignations” in the sector in the last three years. – Bloomberg