The position on the payment of civil servants’ 2016 annual bonuses will be finalised today as the workers’ representatives meet a high-profile delegation of four Government Ministers and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya.
The Ministers expected to be part of today’s indaba are Cde Patrick Chinamasa (Finance and Economic Development), Cde Prisca Mupfumira (Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare), Cde Saviour Kasukuwere (Local Government, Public Works and National Housing) and Dr David Parirenyatwa (Health and Child Care).
Members from the Civil Service Commission will also be part of the meeting. Minister Mupfumira yesterday said a deal would be hammered today, as all the key stakeholders were available. A fresh proposal, she said, would be tabled to the workers.
“We will meet them to discuss the issue of bonuses,” she said. “Other issues on the agenda include the option of stands in lieu of bonuses and the rentals for civil servants who are staying in government properties.
“Government is cognisant of the fact that its employees have not received an increment, hence the need to reduce their burden. The meeting is a continuation of a bonus indaba which was held in January where the two parties resolved to consult their constituencies.
“The follow up meeting, which was scheduled for February 27, could not be held as one of the key stakeholders was not available. We expect to map the way forward in the meeting and we have options as the employer that will be tabled. We want to bring closure to the bonus issue and focus on other issues that improve the conditions of service of the workers.”
Meanwhile, cilvil servants yesterday said they will stick to their resolution to demand cash for bonus when they meet Government today over the issue.
In an interview yesterday, Apex Council secretary-general Mr David Dzatsunga said they had rejected the offer of residential stands in place of a cash payment as it was not feasible for Government to give a residential stand to every public service employee.
“We had a previous meeting last month and we took a position as Apex Council to say really the bonus issue cannot be linked to stands and we are going to stick to that position.
“Without pre-empting the indaba that we are going to have, basically l don’t see any scope beyond the fact that people would rather be paid cash instead of other alternatives,” he said.
Asked about allegations that some union leaders own houses and their position on stands disadvantages their members who are tenants, Mr Dzatsunga said their position was informed by union members.
“The union leaders are guided by their members and not by their wealth or lack of it. I report to a constituency and it is this constituency that l speak on
behalf of,” he said.
In January Government came up with three options of paying the 2016 bonuses and these are: residential stands, a cash stipend coupled with non-monetary benefits and property investment bonds.
— Chronicle Reporter/Harare Bureau