Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
GOVERNMENT has started paying civil servants their annual bonuses for this year and the first group comprising employees in the health and security sectors were paid their 13th cheque last week.
The bonuses being paid include basic salary, transport and housing allowances.
The payments are based on the 41 percent salary rise and new allowance agreed on Monday last week whose payment is with effect from this month.
Civil servants accepted Government’s offer of a 41 percent salary increase and a bonus whose payment will be staggered from this month to December.
The salary agreement also states that Government is committed to a roadmap that will see the lost value of wages being restored after planned meetings to be held next January.
The two parties met last week under the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC), a formal platform for negotiations resulting in the breakthrough.
The new development follows a commitment made by Government to improve civil servants’ conditions of service.
Public Service Commission (PSC) Secretary Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe yesterday confirmed the payment of the bonus.
“Bonuses are being paid in two ways, that is they are being staggered and we already have the first group, which was paid last week. I can confirm that some sections of the civil service have started receiving their bonuses and the others will be paid next month,” he said.
The NJNC met in Harare last week and agreed to a Cost of Living Adjustment (Cola) for civil servants to be paid as follows: an average salary increase of 41 percent of the total package (basic salary + transport allowance + housing allowance + special civil service allowance + representation where applicable) effective 1 November 2020.
It was also agreed that the bonus will be paid after taking into account one’s basic salary, housing and transport allowance.
Also agreed upon was the need to consummate the workers’ substantive demand to benchmark any salary adjustment to restoring the US$441 the workers were earning in October 2018.
The parties further committed to coming up with a roadmap towards the restoration of the lost value of wages as at October 2018 when the lowest paid civil servant earned US$441.
The roadmap will be agreed upon at a meeting to be convened for that purpose at the end of January 2021.
The Apex Council, which represents all civil service associations and unions including teachers’ unions, said even though it had previously rejected several offers by Government, it deemed it prudent to reach common ground following the latest talks.
It said at the start of this round of talks, the average earnings of a civil servant were US$40 according to the bank rate but progressively, this had risen to about [email protected]