BCC in workers allowance U-turn

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The cash-strapped Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has decided to reinstate allowances for employees, which it suspended last November, and will now refund workers amounts deducted so far, NewsDay has learnt.

Last month, the local authority shocked its employees after they received their November salaries without the usual basic allowances.

However, at the time, BCC officials were evasive about the issue, despite the fact employees confirmed they did not receive their allowances.

In an interview with NewsDay yesterday, the secretary-general for the Council Workers’ Union, Nkosiyabo Masuku, confirmed allowances would be reinstated.

“I can confirm that employees’ allowances will be reinstated and they will be backdated to the months in which employees did not receive their allowances,” he said.

Masuku, however, added that the removal of the allowances was temporary.

“Allowances were only deferred on a temporary basis,” he said. “It was meant to ease the local authority’s pressure of payment of salaries for the festive season.”

Council spokesperson Nesisa Mpofu confirmed the development.

“In principle, we have agreed that we will give them back their allowances for November and December,” she said.

“However, discussions are underway as to when that will be done.”

The removal of allowances for council employees in November left them disgruntled as it was during the festive season.

The local authority proposed the idea in November last year, as part of measures to cut its wage bill. In August, there was an uproar after council reportedly splashed over $2 million in loans to senior managers to buy luxury cars on generous terms.