Harare City Council has opened talks with its workers for a cost of living adjustment following a recent spate of price hikes that have eroded workers’ incomes.

Minutes of the council’s joint finance and human resources committees, approved at Tuesday’s meeting, show that council tasked its representative at the negotiating forum with trade unions to engage in cost of living adjustment talks.

“This has been necessitated by the recent rise in the general cost of living in the country. However, council was also incapacitated because of budgetary constraints,” part of the minutes read.

The city, according to documents, is offering a 5% salary increment on top of the 2,5% already awarded for 2018 which council was yet to honour.

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Council is yet to effect a 2,5% salary increment due to budgetary constraints and had indicated that it would settle the outstanding amounts starting this month and backdated to January.

The bid for a salary hike comes amid dwindling service delivery and revenue collection due to the poor economic outlook the country is facing.

Council workers are said to be earning high salaries compared to their counterparts both in the private and public sectors.

According to a council financial statement for January and February, the local authority had a surplus aggregated income and expenditure position of ZWL$22,6 million and being owed ZWL$887,3 million. The city owed various stakeholders, who include the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, pension funds and other players ZWL$498,35 million.

“The committee expressed concern regarding the delayed remittance of funds to statutory bodies and tasked the town clerk to address the concerns through relevant committees,” part of the minutes read.