Source: BCC workers get $100 salary increment | The Sunday News October 6, 2019
Vusumuzi Dube, Senior Municipal Reporter
THE Bulawayo City Council has rejected a request from its workers for a salary increase that would have seen the workers getting a top-up of $500 across board and a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) of 80 percent.
Instead the local authority through its collective bargaining mechanism have adjusted the workers’ basic salary by a measly $100 while the COLA has been set at 33 percent. According to a council confidential report, the local authority’s acting human capital director, Mr Makhosi Tshalebwa reported that the collective bargaining sat on 30 September, where, after negotiations all parties resolved on the said adjustment.
“It will be recalled that in accordance with delegated authority, the general purposes committee had granted authority to the council delegation in the permanent negotiating committee to engage in collective bargaining regarding the review of COLA and salary adjustment. The request for the improvement of staff conditions of service had been previously received from the union leadership through a letter dated 27 August.
“Following the granting of the mandate to enter into negotiations, the permanent negotiating committee convened and following marathon dialogue, the parties resolved that both COLA and basic salary be adjusted by $100 and 33 percent across the board as opposed to the union’s original submission of $500 and 80 percent respectively,” reads part of the report.
However, it was further reported that despite the two parties agreeing on the set increments, they failed to reach common ground on when these new figures will come into effect.
“It is brought to the attention of the council that the issue of the effective date of the increment has not yet been finalised. The employer party had recommended that the increment be implemented with effect from 1 October 2019 while the employee party was of the view that the effective date be fixed on 1 September, in line with the effect date of the supplementary 2019 budget.
“The aspect of the effective date acceptable to both parties has been escalated to the works council for deliberation and possible resolution,” reads part of the council report.
Last month council workers wrote to the local authority’s top management demanding a cocktail of cushioning allowances, inclusive of non-monetary benefits, which they argued would help them navigate their way round the country’s economic challenges.
Some of these non-monetary allowances include the introduction of a 40 percent discount on the purchasing of stands by all the council workers.
“The current 20 percent allocation of residential stands to council workers was not transparent as there were no records to prove and to note was that union leadership is not involved in the allocation process.
“Union proposed that the union leadership should be part of the allocation process of stands and also keep a record as to which employee had benefited. The union humbly submitted that council workers got a discount of 40 percent in the purchase of stands,” reads the council report.
They also proposed that all council employees be exempted from paying parking fees noting that they deserved this privilege as they were members of staff,
The latest developments come at a time the local authority is reported to have been hit by massive resignations mainly from qualified engineers with most relocating outside the country seeking greener pastures.
This saw council, last month, passing a proposal for the reintroduction of a 20 percent Critical Shortage Areas Allowance to all its engineers to convince them to stay under their employ.
The allowance had been scrapped in 2016.
In November last year council workers demanded a $700 monthly Cost of Living Adjustment fund to help cushion their salaries and improve their standard of living.
The council workers described their living conditions as being “in dire poverty” due to the low salaries, with lowest employee reportedly getting $180. The last time the works got a Cost of Living Adjustment allowance was in 2014 when they were each awarded $100 on top of their salaries.