Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Disappointed civil servants yesterday said their August salaries were paid excluding the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) ranging from 50 to 76 percent that the Government awarded them last week.
Government had promised to pay all the salaries with the increments by end of last month.
In an interview yesterday, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza said the welfare of its workers remained top priority for Government and assured civil servants that it would resolve all outstanding issues without stating when and how.
“Government has made a promise and it will keep that promise. All civil servants will receive their increments according to the agreement between the Government and the Apex Council.
“We appreciate the spirit of engagement exhibited by the workers through the Apex Council and I want to assure the workers that negotiations to resolve outstanding issues will continue,” said Dr Nzenza.
Civil servants yesterday said they received their salaries without the increments promised by the Government, while others said they were yet to be paid.
“I have received my salary but I was shocked when I realised that there’s no 76 percent increment.
“I hope more is coming because I have already budgeted for the money, which is still not enough,” said a teacher who declined to be named.
Another civil servant, who also preferred anonymity, said he was eagerly waiting for his August salary.
Last week Government resolved to cushion its workers against the economic hardships that they are facing by offering a COLA ranging from 50 percent to 76 percent on a sliding scale with effect from August 1, 2019.
Government tabled this offer in the meetings of the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) held on August 23 and August 27, 2019.
The offer comes after Government had implemented a 50 percent cushioning allowance for most civil servants during the month of July.
Government also undertook to pay-off PSMAS arrears to clear the legacy debt thereby ensuring that there is reduction on requests for cash upfront payments by health service providers when members are accessing medical services.
Implementation of the plan has started and this will ease cash flow challenges for PSMAS.
Government also assured its workers that the Public Service Commission has engaged the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to physically avail promised land for housing for civil service employees.
A decision on the use of the land will be negotiated with the Apex Council.