Monday, 5 August 2019

CIVIL SERVANTS TO GET BONUSES THIS YEAR : NCUBE


GOVERNMENT says all civil servants will get their bonuses for the year in November, amid expectations that the amounts could be increased so as to continuously improve workers’ welfare.

This was said by Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube yesterday during a post Mid-Year Budget Review and Supplementary Budget breakfast meeting in Harare.

He said: “. . . I insist that the civil servants will get their bonuses again this year, on time at the end of November. All of them will get paid, (because) we want to make sure that we keep that track record in paying civil servants.

“You know there was a few moments in the past when they didn’t know when they would get paid, now they know exactly when they will get paid.

“Who knows what I would do if we end up with a small surplus at the end of the year, we may even try to over-perform on bonus payment to the civil servants.”

Last year, Government paid civil servants bonuses on pensionable salaries only, moving away from the previous practice where it used to pay the 13th cheque on gross earnings including allowances.

Prof Ncube also called on the private sector to look after their employees who continue to bear the brunt of high prices of goods and services. 

His call comes as the private sector has been increasing prices of the goods they make and services offered, but not adjusting employee salaries.

“I am trying to look after the Government employees; look after yours as well, keep on topping those salaries. It’s very, very important because wage erosion is our biggest challenge at the moment. Please do something about it,” Prof Ncube said.

He conceded that since the introduction of Statutory Instrument (SI) 142 of 2019, also known as Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Legal Tender) Regulations, wage and salary erosion was now a big challenge, hence the need to continuously adjust wages and salaries.

Among other things, SI 142 of 2019 removed the multiple currency systems and introduced a local currency, the Zimbabwe dollar, which is now used on all local transactions.

Prof Ncube said it was critical to cushion civil servants and including pensioners from price increases.

In a bid to improve the lot of civil servants and pensioners, Government set aside $63 million as a cushion allowance at the start of the year. On April 1, Government effected a $400 million “cost of living adjustment” to cushion its employees. 

A few weeks ago, Government implemented another once off cushioning allowance which saw civil servants getting $400 on top of their monthly salaries.

Negotiations are also ongoing between Government and its employees with a view to increasing salaries. Apart from a cushioning allowance, Government has also introduced measures aimed at addressing “pain points”, especially the introduction of Zupco buses at substantially low fares.

Further, there are plans to find a lasting solution to the high medical drug costs through a deal with Premier Services Medical Aid Society (PSMAS). Herald

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