GOVERNMENT will this week release a framework on how the payment of civil servants’ 2017 bonuses will be staggered.
The Government in December last year assured civil servants that they will be paid their 2017 bonuses, with $176 million set aside for their 13th cheques and other national programmes.
Apex Council chairperson, Mrs Cecilia Alexander, yesterday confirmed that Government had promised to release a framework outlining how the 2017 civil servants’ bonuses will be paid this year.
The bonuses payments will be staggered due to cash flow challenges.
“We’re expecting to get information this week from the Government in terms of how the payments of the 2017 bonuses for the civil servants will be staggered.
“This comes as a relief because civil servants were beginning to be anxious about the payment of bonuses which were promised last year. We’re hoping that the payments will start this month,” said Mrs Alexander.
She also expressed concern on the lack of effective communication between Government and its workers following the movement of the civil service to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC)
The civil service used to be under the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
However, the Ministry has since been reconfigured to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and the civil service now falls under the OPC.
Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) president Mr Richard Gundane also emphasised the importance of constant and formal communication between Government and its workers.
“Now that we’re no longer part of the Public Service Ministry we have a challenge in terms of where we have to go as civil servants to get answers for our questions and concerns.
“Ordinarily we would be going to the Public Service Minister to seek audience and discuss burning issues. All these negotiating processes depend on the presence of a minister, who is not in place. This presents complications due to lack of dialogue between civil servants and Government,” said Mr Gundane.
He said the term of office of National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) for negotiators also came to an end.
“It’s time to put in place new negotiators for the NJNC. This is a big challenge, bigger than the bonus issue because all the issues which have anything to do with communication between the Government and its workers have been stalled.
“We’re yet to receive information on what is the new arrangement in terms of social dialogue between the two parties,” said Mr Gundane.
Government workers received their 2016 bonuses last year in batches between April and August.
Presenting the 2018 national budget proposals last year, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said Government was trying to reduce the wage bill through the rationalisation of civil servants jobs and abolition of some posts.
He said Government will rationalise, redeploy, and retrain its workers to achieve efficiencies in the administration of the civil service in order to create savings.
Minister Chinamasa said the only way to effectively increase the country’s revenue base was for Government to grow the economy.