Wednesday, 28 November 2018

CIVIL SERVANTS REJECT BONUS OFFER

Civil servants have rejected government’s offer to pay their bonuses based on basic salaries saying that it was a blatant violation of their rights.

Finance minister Mthuli Ncube proposed in his 2019 budget statement to pay government employees’ bonuses before the end of the year—in a departure from previous years when payments were staggered, with the last 13th cheque being made in the middle of the following year.

In his budget statement Ncube said government appreciates the hard work rendered by its employees and recognises the 13th cheque as an integral component of the remuneration framework.

“Government has taken the position that bonus be payable for 2018, with commitment that these payments be processed before year end. Traditionally, payment of the 13th cheque is computed as the sum of basic salary, housing and transport allowances.

“In light of the resolve to ensure that expenditure commitments don’t further worsen challenges associated with deficit financing that has placed us in the prevailing difficult situation that we find ourselves in, the 13th cheque is, henceforth, computed based on basic salary only, excluding housing and transport allowances,” said Ncube.

In Statement reacting to the announcement, the Apex Council slammed government for taking unilateral decisions and called on MPs not to pass the budget “if they truly represent the wishes of their electors.”

“While we welcome the payment of bonuses this calendar year, we completely reject the decision to pay bonuses based on basic salary as this amounts to a unilateral withdrawal of a benefit much against the law of the land,” Apex council chairperson Cecilia Alexander said.

The government workers slammed Ncube’s budget proposals saying it deliberately ignored the urgent need or a cost of living adjustment owing to the current inflationary environment “which will be made worse by the proposal to increase duty on fuel.”

While the Apex Council is crying foul, some of the civil servants’ unions including the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) have slammed it as not being proactive.
PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said the Apex leadership should have raised their concerns when they recently met government representatives.

“It’s sad that people who met government last week are now having panic meetings to raise issues they were supposed to have raised one on one. This is tantamount to clear betrayal of the poor workers,” Majongwe said.

The minister noted that this year is ending at a time when employees are facing a number of hardships.

“Previously, the Budget incurred expenditure of around $174, 6 million in bonus payment. With regard to the 13th cheque payment, government recognises that this is an integral component of the remuneration framework,” he said. Daily News

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