PENNILESS XMAS FOR TEACHERS, OTHERS: Pay dates pegged on December 28, January 3 Mrs Prisca Mupfumira
Minister Prisca Mupfumira

Minister Prisca Mupfumira

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
THE Government has released December pay dates for civil servants, with those in the health sector and uniformed forces being paid on December 21 while the rest will receive their salaries after Christmas.

Teachers will be paid on December 28 while other civil servants will be paid on January 3.

Pensioners are expected to receive their allowances on January 6.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira could not be reached for comment yesterday as her mobile phone rang unanswered.

However, civil servants’ representatives yesterday said Government had informed them of the dates through the Apex Council.

They expressed regret that Government had not engaged them before coming up with the new pay dates.

Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association chief executive officer Mr Sifiso Ndlovu said:

“It was communicated to the Apex chairperson (Mrs Cecilia Alexander) who has sent it to unions. It’s not a negotiated arrangement but it’s a statement from Government indicating when they’re ready to pay.”

He said teachers were already broke and will have a delayed festive season.

“If you calculate the number of days from the last date of payment it means they are broke. It means their families are not entitled to any festive enjoyment and they will have a postponed Christmas,” he said.

Mr Ndlovu said it was saddening that the Government has not tried to negotiate with them over the new pay dates.

He said civil servants have been shut out by Government on issues concerning them.

The National Joint Negotiating Committee, a team consisting of Government officials and civil servants representatives, Mr Ndlovu said, has not been meeting, straining relationship between the two parties.

He said even though they were expecting to be paid bonus before Christmas, Government has been mum on the matter.

“If the Government has indicated failure to pay your salary, it’s worse with the bonus. They’re mum, quiet. Nothing clearly, even in the budget statement if you saw it [Minister of Finance Patrick] Chinamasa was silent on that. He didn’t want to commit,” said Mr Ndlovu.

Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe president Mr Takavafira Zhou said his organisation was pleading with the Government to rotate pay dates for its workers so that other sectors have a chance to also be paid first.

He said the teaching profession was critical and teachers should at least have been paid before Christmas.

He said the appeal was made as teachers’ children have not enjoyed the festivities associated with this time of the year as salaries of their parents are paid after Christmas.

“If you look for the past three years teachers have always been paid after Christmas and even in the New Year and in most cases the other group particularly the soldiers, prison officers and the police are paid before Christmas. What we encourage the Government to do is that in light of the duties and responsibilities of teachers, there must be a rotation so that this year in particular teachers are paid before Christmas,” said Mr Zhou.


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