Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Reporter
The MDC-Alliance led Harare City Council is reportedly paying its workers US$40 monthly, inclusive of allowances, with the staff declaring incapacitation starting Monday.
Addressing a joint media conference yesterday, Harare Municipal Undertaking chairman Mr Cosmas Bungu accused their employer of neglecting workers.
Harare Municipal Undertaking comprises the Harare Municipal Workers Union, the Zimbabwe Urban Councils Workers Union, the Water and Allied Workers Union of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Allied Municipalities Workers Union representing employees in grade 5 to 16.
“The city of Harare is giving a salary which amounts to $4 000 net salary per month translating to about US$40. This is a slap in the face of the employees taking into account the fact that the $4 000 is inclusive of allowances.
“At the moment, the transport allowance is $480. This can only allow an employee to report for duty for four days. This is on the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic wherein serious hardships have been endured,” said Mr Bungu
He added: “As from Monday October 12, 2020 employees will be incapacitated and will not be able to report for duty since their salaries fall short of the expenses they incur for them to continue to report for duty until their employer meets their demands.”
The workers are demanding minimum wage of $18 000, US$75 cushion, US$30 transport, US$71, 50 housing allowance, rates and water to be paid as per council going rates in terms of Collective Bargaining Agreement and a review of hygienic allowances.
He said the opposition led council should at least take a leaf from Government which has offered some cushioning allowances to its workers while negotiations for better salaries are underway.
“Government has been paying a US$75 Covid-19 allowance to all civil servants. The city of Harare, despite the fact that most employees work in critical departments and were exposed to the pandemic, has since stopped paying the Covid-19 allowance,” he said.
Mr Bungu lambasted council for failing to realise maximum proceeds from its private companies, including City Parking, Harare Holdings and Sunshine meats.
“These companies were created out of the sweat of the City of Harare employees. Surprisingly, these companies are not declaring any dividends despite a council resolution that 40 percent must be paid to council,” he said.
“Further, City Parking is paying the lowest employee a total salary of $14 000 net per month. This is two times more than their counterparts who are parking supervisors in Grade 11 at Traffic Section in City of Harare.”
Mr Bungu said they had also given 14 days notice of intention to embark on collective job action as they were financially incapacitated to report for duty.