Cash bonus deal for civil servants • Govt mobilising resources • Workers reject stands offer
Felex Share Senior Reporter—
GOVERNMENT is working on modalities to mobilise funds to pay 2016 bonuses for civil servants following the rejection of a proposal to substitute the 13th cheque with residential stands.Civil servants declined Government’s offer to give them residential stands in place of bonus, insisting on being paid in cash.
The Herald has it on good authority that civil servants’ representatives, who met Government negotiators last week, rejected the offer saying “it came too late when bonus was due”.
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The workers said they would consider the stands proposal next year.
This has forced Government to go back to the drawing board, while the ministries of Finance and Economic Development and Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare are now working on ways to see how the bonuses will be paid.
A highly-placed Government source confirmed the development yesterday.
“We tabled that proposal during the National Joint Negotiating Council meeting held last week and the workers said for now they were expecting money in the bank, not residential stands,” said the source.
“They said they will only consider that proposal next year and we had no option but to take back the matter to the Finance Ministry.
“The ministry is now seized with the matter and is working in consultation with the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to ensure what was promised is fulfilled.”
Government recently introduced a residential scheme for civil servants as part of the employer’s non-monetary incentives to workers.
Over 121 000 civil servants have registered for the scheme, but the number is expected to balloon as Government is taking on board every worker.
The implementation of the project is expected to begin next month.
Apex Council chairperson Mrs Cecelia Alexander yesterday said they had rejected Government’s proposal to settle the 2016 bonuses with residential stands.
“After a national budget analysis, which indicated the heavy borrowing by Government, the Government negotiating team came and proposed that they pay the bonuses in kind that is through residential stands,” she said.
“The proposal came a bit late because bonus is now due and the stands have not yet been serviced.
“The proposal is good in future when stands are ready to be allocated. For now the workers have rejected that proposal and demanded that the bonuses be paid in cash.”
Government, which is yet to pay some civil servants their December salaries, has been facing challenges in mobilising money.
Sources said given the challenges, payment of the 2016 bonuses would be staggered as was the case last year.
Some workers got paid their 2015 bonuses mid this year.
President Mugabe has assured the workers that despite the low revenue inflows, Government would still pay bonuses as per tradition.
Government has been facing challenges in raising money to pay civil servants salaries and bonuses and proposals are being made to rationalise the workforce.