Civil ser­vants in crunch pay ind­aba

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Pamela Shumba

CIVIL ser­vants’ lead­ers will to­mor­row meet to dis­cuss and take an of­fi­cial po­si­tion that will be pre­sented to the Gov­ern­ment fol­low­ing its de­ci­sion to cut salaries and sus­pend the pay­ment of bonuses for the next two years.

Fi­nance and Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pa­trick Chi­na­masa last Thurs­day an­nounced that the Gov­ern­ment would sus­pend civil ser­vants bonuses for two years as well as re­duce their salaries and al­lowances as part of mea­sures to bring the econ­omy back on track.

The Min­is­ter made the an­nounce­ment while pre­sent­ing the Mid-Year Fis­cal Pol­icy Re­view state­ment in the Na­tional As­sem­bly.

Zim­babwe Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (Zimta) pres­i­dent Mr Richard Gun­dane said they would meet as civil ser­vants rep­re­sen­ta­tives to come up with a for­mal po­si­tion fol­low­ing the gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion.

“The gen­eral sen­ti­ment is that the de­ci­sion by the Gov­ern­ment is un­ac­cept­able but we need to meet as work­ers to come up with an of­fi­cial po­si­tion that will be pre­sented to the em­ployer.

“We’ve to make it clear to the Gov­ern­ment that we’re not ac­cept­ing their de­ci­sion to cut jobs, salaries and al­lowances for civil ser­vants,” said Mr Gun­dane.

He said the pay­ment of the 13th cheque was guar­an­teed in the civil ser­vants’ con­tract of em­ploy­ment hence it could not be with­drawn with­out con­sult­ing them.

Apex Coun­cil sec­re­tary Mr David Dzat­sunga said the Gov­ern­ment should have en­gaged them be­fore an­nounc­ing the pay cuts.

“There was no com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the Gov­ern­ment and its work­ers over this is­sue. The Gov­ern­ment did not con­sult us. It was an am­bush on their part and we’ll not ac­cept it.

“We’re there­fore meet­ing on Wed­nes­day as civil ser­vants to dis­cuss the way for­ward and come up with an of­fi­cial po­si­tion on the is­sue,” said Mr Dzat­sunga.

He said the Gov­ern­ment’s pol­icy comes at a time when its em­ploy­ees are al­ready strug­gling due to poor re­mu­ner­a­tion.

Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa said the Gov­ern­ment would down­size the civil ser­vice from 298 000 to 273 000 em­ploy­ees.

The mea­sures are ex­pected to re­duce em­ploy­ment costs to around 60 per­cent of to­tal rev­enues by 2019 from the cur­rent 97 per­cent and ul­ti­mately re­di­rect rev­enue to­wards cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture which will stim­u­late pro­duc­tion.

Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa said through its raft of mea­sures to re­duce the wage bill, the Gov­ern­ment ex­pects to save around $118 mil­lion by the end of 2016.— @pame­lashumba1.

Mr Richard Gun­dane

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