GOVERNMENT will from this month start paying civil servants salaries instead of allowances after it emerged that its coffers had improved.
Finance minister Tendai Biti is expected to announce the change when he presents his mid-term policy statement on July 16.
Civil servants have been getting a monthly allowance of US$100, which many said was not enough to sustain them.
Biti this week confirmed that the government would start paying a salary with effect from this month end.
He could not reveal the minimum salary that civil servants would earn but said government was working from a narrow budget.
â€œWe are working at decompressing and rationalising the wage bill of civil servants and this review will ensure that civil servants start receiving a salary but we are working from a narrow budget,â€ Biti said.
The salaries, unlike allowances, will differ according to positions. Sources said the governmentâ€™s decision on salaries was designed to avert a looming strike in the public sector.
â€œThere is a brewing storm in the civil service especially from teachers. There was fear that if nothing was done urgently the teachers would strike. This was going to be a blow to the all inclusive government which measures its successes on restoration of normal services in the public sector,â€ said one source.
The sources said teachers were likely to receive starting salaries of about US$300. â€” Staff Writer.