HomeLocal NewsFormer workers accuse RBZ of disregarding arbitration tribunal ruling

Former workers accuse RBZ of disregarding arbitration tribunal ruling

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FORMER Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) security personnel — who were part of the 1 400 employees retrenched on January 31, 2011 — have accused the bank of reluctance to abide by an arbitration tribunal ruling to pay them severance packages based on agreed salaries.

PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI,SENIOR REPORTER

The 169 former employees won the arbitration award on November 7 after the arbitrator, Joel Mambara, ruled that they were entitled to salary–based packages after the bank had sought to base their terminal benefits on the $150 allowance they had been receiving.

The arbitrator, Joel Mambara noted that the said $150 was not a salary, but just an allowance necessitated by the economic difficulties in 2009.

“That the respondent be and is hereby ordered to pay to each and every claimant arrear salaries and benefits per the September 16, 2010 Works Council agreement from January 1, 2010 to the date each and every claimant was retrenched,” Mambara ruled.

The bank had argued that the 169 employees had no specific grades because they had open ended contracts.

Mambara, however, determined that they were on fixed contracts like the other employees who had already been paid their packages because they enjoyed similar benefits including rentals, transport and clothing allowances.

“The claimants were employed on fixed term contracts. What is disconcerting in this whole matter is the way these contracts were managed . . . “Most contracts are not filled in, in spaces provided on how much was being paid to the claimants. Some contracts have $150 and a few others had $250,” he observed.

According to the Works Council agreement, the bank agreed with the workers to pay salaries ranging from $500 to $1 000 depending on the employees’ grade.
The retrenched workers were pushing for packages based on the agreed salaries and not the $150 allowance.

“The claimants were assured that the arrear salaries and benefits would be paid once the respondent had the financial resources,” observed the arbitrator.

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