The Zimbabwean government yesterday snubbed the much-awaited salary talks with its restive workers under the auspices of the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC).

The last NJNC meeting between the government and the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Unions (ZCPSTU), ended in a deadlock last Friday after the workers rejected a 100% salary increase.

Both parties had agreed to meet again this week for further negotiations, but ZCPSTU said the government was no show.

“We were supposed to have the NJNC meeting this week, most probably today (yesterday) but the government did not come through,” ZCPSTU secretary-general David Dzatsunga.

Dzatsunga also mentioned that the government’s failure to attend the bipartite negotiating meeting proved that it was not sincere.

“We are disturbed by the lack of urgency on the part of government given the situation on the ground, so that is as it stands and we are in the process of engaging our members to say, ‘where do we go from here because the employer has demonstrated a certain level of rather an apathy towards our situation?” he said.

Meanwhile, yesterday marked day five since health workers and teachers embarked on strike demanding United States dollar salaries and improved working conditions.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said the face-off between the government and the ZCPTU was necessary to escalate the fight for better salaries in the face of the high cost of living.

“Now that government has shown them the middle finger, they must then come and tell us who exactly they represent,” Majongwe said.