SOME civil servants, particularly teachers, have rapped government for forcing them to change their lifestyle after it shifted their pay dates from mid-month to month-ends.
Several teachers interviewed by NewsDay over the weekend said the new salary dates announced by the Public Service Commission (PSC) meant that they would go into Christmas holidays unpaid.
Although Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA) chief executive officer SIfiso Ndlovu urged the government to stick to the said dates, teachers from Harare who spoke to NewsDay in a snap survey said government appeared to have lost respect for the teaching profession.
“It is this kind of treatment that will force us either to abandon the profession or skip the country’s borders in search of better prospects elsewhere,” a Harare-based teacher said.
Another teacher who declined to be named said the way their pay dates have been pushed right to the end of each month showed that government may end up failing to pay.
“I think paying us right at the end of the month is just a way for government to create breathing space as it is struggling to raise our salaries. I won’t be surprised if we end up with no salary at all,” she said.
According to the schedule, the army would receive their salaries between the 12th and 16th date of every month, while teachers will receive theirs between the 24th and the 28th of every month.
The teachers said the Apex Council should have bargained for non-monetary benefits to compensate for the delay in salaries as a way of boosting workers’ morale.
“There should have been balance with other non-monetary benefits such as better accommodation, stands/houses, land, duty-free importation of commodities that are not affordable to us due to poor salaries,” one teacher said.
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said: “Like we stated early January, government short-changed us by pushing our pay dates 14 days from our normal pay dates. To make matters worse, they have shifted our December pay to the 28th which means there is no Christmas in 2015.”
“To make matters worse, the issue of bonuses can actually be swept under the carpet,” Majongwe said.