By Kudakwashe Vhenge
Teachers unions have expressed dissatisfaction over the criteria which the government used to select dates for 2019 civil service bonuses.
This follows a statement which was released by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development yesterday (Thursday) amid tension between the two parties over poor remuneration and working conditions.
The Ministry indicated that government workforce would get their bonuses “computed based on basic salary, housing and transport allowances”.
The first set of bonuses which will be rolled out on the 15th of this month will be paid to the security sector comprising of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe National Army, Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services as well as the Air Force of Zimbabwe.
Those in the health sector will also get their bonuses on the same date.
Workers in the education sector would be paid on December 17th whilst the rest of the civil servants will get theirs on the 20th of December.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) Secretary-General Raymond Majongwe bemoaned government’s favouritism towards the uniformed forces whilst giving teachers and the rest of the civil service second priority.
“As PTUZ we are very disappointed that government has prioritized and shown unacceptable bias towards the military and uniformed forces and treated the education sector and the rest of civil service as second class citizens”, said Majongwe.
Some sections of the civil society called the announcement of the bonus dates as a no show as the bonuses will not make any difference to their welfare.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president Obert Masaraure described the bonus dates as insignificant as they will be a multiplication of a measly income which will add up to nothing.
“In fact, the bonus dates are immaterial as the bonus is 100% of a paltry salary and will definitely be peanuts itself. The government should stop provoking civil servants by publicizing this mockery.
“We call upon all civil servants to unite and demand a living wage and real bonuses”, said Masarure. The announcement of bonus dates comes a few days after the government deployed police to block government workers protest and handing over of their petition over poor wages.