Bulawayo City Council employees reject salary cuts

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Bulawayo City Council

BULAWAYO City Council employees have rejected the local authority’s decision to cut salaries and staff by 20% to reduce labour costs.

BY SHARON SIBINDI

The decision followed a recommendation by human resources consultants, MBB (Pvt) Ltd, recently hired by council to conduct a job evaluation exercise.

The recommendations were tabled during a special council meeting and were unanimously endorsed by the councillors and town clerk Christopher Dube.

Council said it planned to reduce its workforce from 5 071 to 4 082.

However, Zimbabwe Urban Councils Workers’ Union (Zucwu) Bulawayo branch secretary Nomathemba Sibanda shot down the proposal, arguing that they should have been consulted before the decision was made.

“They never engaged the workers. The terms of reference came from the management only and the workers were not part of it. This shows that from the beginning this procedure was not held properly and they have breached labour laws. So the workers are saying no. The job evaluation was not done well and they are against it,” Sibanda said during a Zucwu general council meeting held at the Large City Hall on Monday.

The staff rationalisation exercise will see a number of workers downgraded and some moved to other departments after their positions were made redundant.

A council employee, who preferred anonymity, said the job evaluation issue was wrongly timed as some of them had outstanding loans and if their salaries were cut, they would remain with nothing.

“People have loans for which at the end of the month salaries are being deducted. How will we pay them? We have children at school and we have budgeted everything,” the worker said.