Banking sector demands 60% pay rise

Banking sector demands 60% pay rise
Published: 23 May 2018 (211 Views)
WORKERS in the banking sector are demanding a 60 percent salary increase and have given their employers a two-week ultimatum after which they will go on strike if their demands are not met.

In a letter to the Bankers Employers Association of Zimbabwe (BEAZ), the workers, represented by the Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers Union (Zibawu), rejected a 3.4 percent increase they were previously offered and threatened to embark on sit ins, sit outs and demonstrations.

"Following the conclusion of the collective bargaining session in our sector, wherein parties declared a deadlock, we write to serve you notice of our intention to resort to collective job action. The 14 days' notice is issued in terms of section 104 of the Labour Act (Chapter 28:01) as amended," said Zibawu general secretary, Mr Peter Mutasa.

"Upon expiry of the 14 days' notice and subject to other mandatory provisions of the law, our members will embark on sit ins, sit outs, demonstrations, call for boycotts and any other concerted actions. This action can be averted if you accede to our 60 percent salary increase demand or opening of negotiations for a respectable salary increase well above your 3, 46 percent offer."

The lowest paid worker in the banking sector earns between $400 to $600. Workers have said they have not had any pay rise in the last few years despite the increase in the cost of living.

The letter has also been copied to the Ministry of Labour and Social Services. The Government has already set the pace by increasing salaries for its workers by 15 percent starting July this year.

The decision followed intense engagements after civil servants had threatened job action.

Labour unions have been calling for a pay rise since last year citing loss of value of money after prices of basic commodities had increased several times since 2016.

However, economic experts have warned the country's economy is not in a position to sustain a wage increase as some advocated for internal devaluation to trip the costs associated with production. Labour is a major component of cost drivers.

In 2015, BEAZ won an appeal challenging a Labour Court decision forcing the sector to review workers' salaries based on year-on-year inflation figures.

The Labour Court had in the previous year ruled in favour of the workers' union, granting them a salary increment.

Labour experts, have in the past pointed out that the country's wage structure is expensive and unsustainable, as compared to regional counterparts.

They indicated that the problem with the wage system is that it is fixed, meaning whether an employee performs or not, they still get paid even when there is no production.

They have since called for a review of the wage structure to make the country more attractive to investment.

- newsday

Tags: Banking, Sector, Demand,
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