Harare City Council has given its struggling workers a cushioning allowance and increased their salaries to see them through the economic challenges and avert a potential strike.
BY LORRAINE MUROMO
Council human resources committee chairperson Jacob Mafume confirmed the development yesterday, saying as a result, the lowest-paid worker will be getting $1 108 a month effective November 1.
“We have agreed to give a cushioning allowance of $300 per employee across the board effective from November 1 and to award $200 per employee to clear arrears from previous collective bargainings,” he said.
Mafume said the cushioning allowances will be part of the workers’ salaries even if the economic crisis is resolved.
“Once the hardship ends, we will not take back the cushioning allowances. They will be put into the salaries and depending on the finalisation of the collective bargaining process,” Mafume said.
The least-paid employee is expected to get at least $1 100 up from $300.
Council has also promised to give its workers bonuses.
“We endeavour to pay bonuses when they are due and we will instruct management to avail the money for bonuses. We are working flat out to shake every possible tree to ensure that money is found,” Mafume said
He said they will engage in continuous discussions with the workers.
“We are in continuous engagement with the unions under the platforms that we have together to produce the collective bargaining agreements,” Mafume said.
We are all aware of the inflationary environment and the hard economic times as a result of austerity measures introduced at central government level. We have been trying to catch up and find ways to alleviate the (suffering) of employees.
Chairperson of the workers council Kenias Chivuzhe applauded the move and said it was different from the previous council which was busy fighting its workers instead of solving their grievances.