TEACHERS are due to receive their long-awaited annual bonuses on December 16, allaying fears that the cash-strapped government, would renege on its earlier promise to award all civil servants a 13th cheque.
According to the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) chief executive Sifiso Ndlovu, the date was agreed on at a meeting civil servants’ unions and Public Service minister Nicholas Goche in Harare yesterday.
Ndlovu said all teachers would get their bonuses in full on Monday next week dispelling swirling rumours that they would only receive vouchers as payment in January 2014 instead of cash.
“I can confirm that we met the minister today (yesterday) and he told us that bonuses will be paid in full on December 16. That is the set date,” said the Zimta chief.
Ndlovu said communication to teachers would be sent from today.
The government started paying out bonuses to civil servants in November, but rumours started circulating last week that the remaining civil servants, who include nurses and teachers, would not be getting a 13th cheque.
Ndlovu said teachers should not panic, but wait for official communication.
“Goche told us that as civil servants’ unions, we should unite and prepare for negotiations for 2014 salaries. He also said we should be transparent and inform our members on each and every stage of negotiations,” Ndlovu said.
At the formation of the now defunct inclusive government in February 2009, $100 vouchers were introduced to enable civil servants to buy goods from shops rather than exchange them for cash.
However, several teachers told our sister paper Southern Eye on Monday that when schools closed last week,they were informed that vouchers would be re-introduced in January next year.
“During our last staff meeting, we were told that instead of getting cash in January, we will get the same vouchers that were used a few years back,” said one teacher.
“We were also informed that a circular to that effect would follow before the end of December.”
Leaders of civil servants’ negotiators and government are due to meet today to cement the assurances that all civil servants will get their bonuses.