By Judith Sibanda
Tourism players have started collective bargaining consultations to come up with a new wage structure for the sector.
Last year the government approved a 5% wage increase which was valid until February 2019.
Employers Association of Tourism Operators (EASTO) president Clement Mukwasi said the consultations will afford all parties involved an opportunity to table their offers.
The lowest paid employee in the sector earns RTGs180 per month.
“Collective bargaining for 2019 is underway,” Mukwasi said.
“The process starts with a consultation with each party that is involved in negotiations consulting in its own constituencies.
“What it means is that the trade unions consult workers on what they think should be the mandate and at the same time the employers, whom l represent consult with the owners of the companies on their position which again should then be represented at the negotiation table.”
Mukwasi added: “That is the very starting point in preparation for negotiations. The stage we are at the moment is a stage where about six weeks ago we negotiated to give employees a 55% cost of living adjustment to cushion employees against prize distortion. We did not negotiate a real salary movement and this shall be negotiated after both parties would’ve gathered information from their constituencies and come up with positions.”
After the consultations have been done, trade unions shall meet at the negotiation table and come up with a suitable salary position.
“What will happen is that, after we have been given opinions and facts, we will then come up with consolidating positions. On the table, the papers shall take a position on inflation, exchange rate and basket produce among other factors and conclusion must then see a result that is taken by both parties.”
Mukwasi said the negotiations were likely to be concluded in June.
About 65% of tourism workers in Gwai and Victoria Falls region are earning their salaries in foreign currency and 20% in RTGs.