Felex Share, Harare Bureau
THE Civil Service Commission is carrying out an exercise to determine the number of civil servants agreeing to the residential stands-for-bonus offer tabled by Government recently.
This comes amid indications that most workers are for residential stands but are being let down buy their union leaders.
The union leaders want cash for their 2016 annual bonuses.
Not all civil servants have representatives hence the decision by Government to carry out separate consultations through the CSC.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira yesterday said Government’s decision on bonuses would be informed by the Commission’s findings.
The findings should be ready before the next meeting between Government and civil servants unions next Monday. “Many civil servants have been approaching our offices saying they need residential stands as soon as yesterday and considering that a huge chunk of workers are not unionised, we decided to carry out a survey through the Civil Service Commission,” said Minister Mupfumira.
“While we will give an ear to what the unions will say, we will also stand guided by the results of the survey. The Commission is simply asking the workers what they want- a piece of land or once-off payment of cash. We felt wider consultations are needed for the sake of the many that are outside unions. We also have some within those unions who also want stands but are being denied the opportunity by their leaders.”
Government recently offered its workers three payment options for 2016 bonuses, which included residential stands, a cash stipend coupled with non-monetary benefits and property investment bonds.
The workers, through their unions, rejected all options.
Added Minister Mupfumira: “We will disclose publicly the numbers after the CSC tables its report and we will give land to those in need of it. We have another meeting soon with the workers, and the way forward will eventually be mapped. We want to bring closure to the bonus issue and focus on other things, which improve the welfare of the workers.”
Minister Mupfumira said Government was operating on a “shoe-string budget” but would not fail to pay its workers monthly salaries.
She said for this month, members of the Zimbabwe National Army and Air Force of Zimbabwe had already received their salaries.
Nurses would be paid today, followed by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police and prisons on Friday.
Teachers will be paid on February 28.
The rest of the civil service will get its dues on March 3, while pensioners and grant-aided institutions will be paid on March 7 and 10 respectively.
“Government is trying hard despite the hard economic environment we are operating in,” said Minister Mupfumira.
“Some companies have been failing to pay workers but we, despite being the largest employer, have stood the test of time. We have been trying since last year and honoured our word that we will push that most workers get paid within the month worked.
“Now teachers are being paid within the month worked and we are now left with about three groups only and at this rate things will be back to normal soon,” she said.