Civil servants’ form union

HARARE - A group of civil servants has formed a business union in a bid to beat the harsh economic environment that has seen the few remaining people in employment struggling to survive. Even the recently awarded 200% salary increase is meaningless in the light of an inflation rate that hovers just

under the 600% mark. The Governor of the Reserve Bank has warned Zimbabweans that the rate could hit 800% by March. Known as the Civil Servants Business Union of Zimbabwe (CSBUZ),the body seeks to economically empower workers in the face of the hyper inflationary environment. Union deputy chairman, Misheck Kanotunga, said salary increments were failing to address the challenges faced by civil servants, as they could not match the increase in the cost of living. “We want to empower civil servants and those in the retirement zone to be able to look after themselves in the harsh economic environment,” he said. With a membership of over 100 and currently based in Harare, the union plans to expand its base to all the country’s districts. The inflationary environment has seen the cost of living skyrocketing with the poverty datum line (PDL) estimated to be around 17 million Zimbabwean dollars (17 U.S. dollars) per month. However most workers, including civil servants who recently got a salary adjustment of around 230 percent, still fall way below the PDL. With prices of basic commodities and medical services having gone up by over 1,000 percent as at the beginning of this year, salaries are not matching the rocketing cost of living in the country. Inflation is estimated to peak at around 800 percent by March and this likely to see further increases in the cost of living ‘Linguistic Diversity in Africa’ Conference – an Event not to Be Missed! Many African scholars are coming to deliver academic papers at the forthcoming Conference ‘Linguistic Diversity in Africa’ that will take place on 4th and 5th March 2006 at the University of London (Students’) Union in Malet Street in London. The two-day event will unite applied linguists, English Language Teaching practitioners, translators and interpreters, writers, poets, educators, and all those who wish to promote, develop and preserve African languages.

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