Friday, February 24, 2017

Zimbabwe Civil Servants Embrace Bonuses
February 24, 2017
Felex Share Senior Reporter

Civil servants’ unions leaders risk being left in the cold as most workers they purport to represent stampede to embrace Government’s stands-for-bonus proposal.

Information from the Civil Service Commission (CSC) indicates that tens of thousands of civil servants prefer residential stands to cash for their 2016 annual bonuses.

The stands come at zero deposit.

Civil servants are making their choices through questionnaires being circulated by CSC in all Government departments.

Government has set today as the deadline for the return of the questionnaires.

Only those in areas affected by floods will complete the forms later.

The decision to solicit views was arrived at after it emerged that most civil servants wanted stands, but union leaders were standing in the way.

The union leaders want cash.

Not all civil servants fall under the unions, hence the decision to gather the workers’ views.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira yesterday said: “While the total number of those in need of stands would be known at the end of the survey being carried out by the commission, information on the ground indicates that people need residential stands than a once-off cash payment.

“The move (to conduct a survey) follows an increase in the number of civil servants who have approached the Civil Service Commission in request for the stands in lieu of bonus.

“All civil servants are encouraged to approach the nearest Civil Service Commission offices, human resources departments or heads of stations where the questionnaires can be availed.

“Those who cannot make it to the CSC offices or otherwise due to natural factors like floods, should not panic as they will be allowed to complete the questionnaire even after the deadline of Friday the 24th of February.”

The questionnaire requires a worker to state the town of preference for the residential stand.

Minister Mupfumira said Government would continue engaging civil servants unions through the National Joint Negotiating Forum.

Union leaders who fall under the banner of Apex Council yesterday insisted they wanted their bonuses in cash.

“The so-called survey by the Civil Service Commission is null and void since the minister, in her statements, already concludes that the majority of workers prefer stands in lieu of bonuses,” Apex Council said.

“Workers are already waiting for their cash bonuses. The manner in which the so-called survey was being conducted is a negation of our role as unions, making the February 27 meeting a prejudged process. The stands-for-bonuses issue is pie in the sky, as there is no formula according to which the government will be able to avail stands for every civil servant in the short run.”

The unions said if Monday’s scheduled meeting with Government was inconclusive, they would seek audience with President Mugabe.

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.

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