Harare, workers declare deadlock

Harare City Council and its workers have declared a deadlock over demands by the employees for a pay rise at a time the local authority is planning to cut salaries.

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

Harare Municipal Workers’ Union executive chairperson Cosmas Bungu yesterday confirmed the deadlock, saying negotiations had failed to bring the desired result for both parties and now the matter is before two different arbitrators.

“We had a deadlock on salary increases for January to December on collective bargaining at the national employment council. We went before independent arbitrators, Hon Kuhuni and Hon Gwisai and we are waiting for the award,” Bungu said.

Council has been proposing to cut workers’ salaries, stating that the amount given to its workers was not in tandem with the current economic situation as it emerged that a general hand at Town House earns more than a Zimbabwe Republic Police officer.

Harare City Council team leader at the national employment, Wellington Chikombo said the matter was before an independent arbitrator and no further discussions have been made to that effect.

“The issue is before the arbitrator and we are yet to get an award on that issue. As council, our position is strong and we know that workers would want a pay rise, but we are balancing competing needs,” Chikombo said.

Outgoing mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni has been at loggerheads with fellow councillors on the proposal to cut workers’
salaries amid indications that most municipal workers earn higher than those in the private sector.

According to the city’s salary schedule, a copy of which is in NewsDay Weekender’s possession, a farm guard earns more than a police inspector, teacher, nurse and even a junior doctor at a government hospital.

But Bungu said a suggestion that council workers were earning higher was misplaced.

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