Tuesday, 19 July 2016

BROKE GOVT MEETS CIVIL SERVANTS OVER PAY

Government meets the Apex Council today to update the civil servants’ representative body on their July pay dates.

Indications point to a significant improvement from what transpired on pay timelines last month. This comes as Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira yesterday dismissed purported civil servants’ pay dates circulating on social media, as the work of detractors seeking to destabilise the country.

“There will be a meeting tomorrow where on our part, we will engage the Apex Council team leader Mrs Cecilia Alexander to update them on the situation in the spirit of dialogue,” she said.

“Treasury is making frantic efforts with a view to improving on what happened with last month’s salaries. As the parent ministry, we are always in touch with the civil servants’ unions and Treasury. We are in the final stages and dates will be availed to the workers first before they go public, but indications are that there is great improvement. This month, it will definitely be better than last time.”

Minister Mupfumira said bonus payments caused the deferment of civil servants’ salary dates.

“We are improving because the dates were pushed further because of bonus payments, which most companies failed to pay last year,” she said.

“Because the President (Mugabe) appreciates the work being done by the dedicated civil servants, he saw it fit to award them the bonuses. We will come back to our traditional dates and everything will be back to normal soon. Cash flow challenges is the problem, but Government is doing all it can to keep the workforce motivated.
“There are also some mischievous people who are circulating fake dates on the social media and we urge our workers to ignore those and not to be deterred. Their efforts will as usual come to naught. We always respect and thank the civil servants for the dedication to duty. This month it will definitely be better than last time,” said Minister Mupfumira.

The social media was yesterday awash with wrong pay dates with the final pay dates for July salaries pegged at the end of August.

Government normally pays its workforce beginning mid-month but has of late been forced to break the tradition owing to revenue challenges.

The employer managed to pay the uniformed forces their June salaries within that month but pushed the dues for teachers and nurses to July 7 and 8, respectively.
Pensioners are expected to get their June payouts today while staff under grant aided institutions will be paid on Thursday.

Government then offered the workers a $100 advance payment to allow the workers to travel to and from work while they waited for their salaries.

The move saw teachers and nurses calling for a three-day strike, which they immediately called off after Government honoured its obligations.

The workers argued the $100 was not enough as they had other obligations like rentals and bank loans to settle.

President Mugabe last week appealed to civil servants to be patient saying the country was faced with an array of challenges that include illegal sanctions, drought as well as the use of the multi-currency system, mainly the US dollar that the country had little control over.

He said Government would strive to ensure that the problem of delays in salary payments was addressed.

Government is directing nearly $200 million every month towards salaries, a development that is unsustainable. To rectify the challenge, the civil service is being rationalised with changes being implemented expected to save $400 million yearly. herald

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