Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
Harare City Council workers have requested a hardship allowance equivalent to 40 percent of their salaries to cushion them against the rise in the cost of living.
The request was made by the Harare Municipal Workers’ Union, Zimbabwe Urban Councils Workers’ Union Harare and the Zimbabwe Allied Municipalities Workers’ Union in a letter to Harare Mayor Councillor Herbert Gomba.
“Our members have been exposed to serious challenges due to the erosion of disposable incomes,” read the letter. “As a matter of urgency, the employee party is proposing an on-call hardship allowance of 40 percent to cushion the employees and to enable them to continue delivering service so that Harare can achieve world class city status by 2025.”
The unions, through their chairman, Mr Cosmas Bungu, wrote to Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing July Moyo seeking his assistance to get council to pay their outstanding salaries and bonuses.
“The employees have had to endure a miserable Christmas and New Year since the employer has not paid them their outstanding salaries and bonus for November and December last year,” he wrote.
“We believe Government led by example when it paid its workers their salaries and bonuses, hence council as a quasi-Government organisation should follow suit.”
Mr Bungu said they had resolved to write to the minister after successive meetings with council management failed to yield any results.
Principal director (urban local authorities) Ms Erica Jones yesterday said Minister Moyo was not in his office.
“They may have written to the minister, who is currently on leave,” she said.
Town Clerk Engineer Hosiah Chisango said council was clearing the salary arrears.
“We are now paying December salaries,” he said.
“We have moved from about four or five months and we are almost getting to current. On the bonuses, with our current capacity we will stagger the payment of bonuses. Some will be paid end of January.”