Civil servants scoff at bonus offer

Mthuli Ncube

CIVIL servants are set to receive their bonus in United States dollars including a flat US$200 presidential bonus, but unions said there was nothing to be celebrated.

A correspondence from the National Joint Negotiation Committee (NJNC) held on Monday seen by NewsDay read: “Payment of the 2022 bonus for deputy director level and grades below will be in US dollars as 100% of gross pensionable emoluments (basic salary, transport and housing allowance. An additional US$200 will be paid to every employee as a special presidential bonus.

“The bonus will be paid in two equal tranches across all sectors starting from November, with the latest payment being in December.” 

Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions’ Cecilia Alexander confirmed the bonus agreement, but unions representing civil servants were, however, not amused.

“The 100% bonus remains paltry because it is 100% of a paltry income. We insist that salaries should be adjusted to pre-October 2018 level. Paying in instalments will further erode the purchasing power of the bonus,” Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) president Obert Masaraure said.

Civil servants are demanding pre-October 2018 United States dollar salaries to make ends meet in the face of skyrocketing cost of living.

Masaraure said: “The parties who signed representing NJNC should be ashamed for sustaining an illegal platform for their own expediency. Civil servants deserve a genuine collective bargaining platform in line with Convention 154 of ILO, best practices in the region and section 65(5) of our own Constitution.

“The naming of an annual bonus as presidential shows that we are not serious as a nation. What’s so presidential about that paltry amount? Someone somewhere is reducing the Office of the President to a joke.”

Zimbabwe Nurses Association president Enock Dongo also said the figure was too little.

“We want to appeal to government to pay the bonus at once in one month, not to divide it into two since it’s not much and also we are still asking for more. The figure presented as bonus is too little to thank the hardworking employees with,” Dongo said.

Private sector workers are also demanding United States dollar salaries.

Related Topics