Civil servants scoff at split-bonus payments

The State workers have started receiving part of their bonus, with the remainder expected next month.

CIVIL servants are not happy with government splitting payment of their annual bonus into two batches, saying the arrangement was meaningless considering their meagre salaries.

They have been demanding a once-off payment of their bonus in both foreign and local currency.

The State workers have started receiving part of their bonus, with the remainder expected next month.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said the bonus was way below what they used to earn in 2017.

“Before the coup of 2017, teachers were to get bonuses of not less than US$520. It was 100% with the gross income. But now the 100% of the gross income today is way below what teachers used to earn before the coup,” he said.

Masaraure said there was no relief for educators given the split payment of their bonus.

“You cannot be able to keep the US$150 this month waiting for the other US-dollar payment next month. There isn’t much relief that is going to be enjoyed from this particular bonus,” he said.

“It’s very unfortunate that the incapacitation crisis remains unresolved and teachers’ morale will remain very low.”

Zimbabwe Nurses Association president Enock Dongo expressed similar sentiments.

“Nurses got their bonuses in US dollars. However, the money is not enough. We also urge the government to give us full bonuses. We can’t plan with this meagre salary,” Dongo said.

Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions chairperson Cecilia Alexander, however, said civil servants were happy.

“They are happy because this year there has been some improvement. Firstly, all the workers have been treated the same unlike before where some sectors would be paid earlier while others received the 13th cheque late,” Alexander said.

“Secondly, the larger chunk of the bonus is in US dollars so at least it's better as the majority of their income is not affected by inflation. Government has been very responsible this year and we commend it for the efforts.”

Efforts to contact Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister July Moyo for comment were fruitless.

In recent years, government has staggered the payment of the 13th cheque due to lack of funds.

Government and civil servants have been engaged in endless battles over salary and working conditions issues, with workers demanding a pre-October 2018 US$540 minimum salary.

Related Topics