GOVERNMENT says it cannot afford to pay civil servants bonuses at once, and will spread payment of the 13th cheque over two months.
After telling public workers early last month that bonuses would be performance-based, government yesterday said it would pay all employees 50% of their bonuses this month, while the balance would be paid next month.
Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Unions president Cecilia Alexander said after a meeting of the National Joint Negotiating Committee (NJNC), it was agreed that all civil servants from the deputy director level and below would receive their bonuses unconditionally.
“The workers’ side representatives met the government on the 7th of November 2022 to deliberate on quite a number of issues, chief among them is the payment modalities of 2022 annual bonuses,” Alexander said.
“The meeting agreed that all civil servants from deputy director grade and below will receive their bonuses unconditionally. The bonuses will be accorded in two tranches starting from November to December across the board. Fifty percent of the annual bonus will be paid per the said months plus the usual earnings.”
Alexander said fees for teachers’ children would also be paid in batches for all terms in December through the Salary Service Bureau.
“On performance advancement, all members will be rightfully placed in their grades in January 2023, while the arrears will be worked upon thereafter.”
Workers’ representatives commended government for its decision to pay bonuses unconditionally.
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“We applaud government’s first step to treat all workers unconditionally. However, we continue imploring the employer to do likewise on salary earnings. We are not happy with the current salary discrepancies that have seen teachers earning less than the rest of the civil servants when we are working for the same employer,” Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said: “Government should always honour payment of the 13th cheque and it should come unconditionally. The employer should expedite the alignment of labour laws to the Constitution. Statutory Instrument 141 of 1997 which establishes the NJNC is ultra vires (contradicts) the Constitution and it follows that the NJNC must be disbanded. A genuine collective bargaining framework should be established for the bipartite engagement between government and its workers.”