Source: Civil servants protest over bonus –Newsday Zimbabwe
GOVERNMENT has said not every civil servant will get a bonus this year because a performance-based payment system would be used to select deserving individuals.
The development, which is likely to divide government workers, has prompted unions to cry foul saying they were not consulted about the new formula of awarding bonuses.
The new formula emerged in a recent letter dated September 29, 2022 addressed to Health and Child Care ministry heads of departments.
“The Public Service Commission (PSC) has issued a circular notifying of the changed method of payment of bonuses and other performance-related awards in the civil service,” the letter signed by the ministry’s secretary Jasper Chimedza read.
“It is advised that with effect from this year, 2022, bonuses will only be paid based on performance appraisal reports.
“Considering the foregoing, kindly ensure that all members of staff from deputy director level and below are appraised as per the standard requirements.”
Unions have, however, protested bitterly, saying this was targeted at their members for going on strike to demand better salaries.
Civil servants have been engaged in sporadic job protests to demand United States dollar salaries.
Earlier this year, government introduced a “no-work no-pay” policy after civil servants downed tools protesting poor salaries and working conditions.
A number of teachers were also suspended.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said public workers deserved the 13th cheque.
“Performance appraisal should be an ongoing process which should never be nicodemously smuggled in an attempt to prejudice workers. All Civil servants have a legitimate expectation to receive bonuses; this condition should never apply in retrospect. At the end of the day appraisal forms are going to be cooked.. We maintain that all workers who worked for the whole year deserve an annual bonus,” Masaraure said.
Zimbabwe Nurses Association president Enock Dongo appealed to President Emmerson Mnangagwa to intervene and ensure all State workers receive bonuses.
“It is not fair for government to come at the 11th hour and make decisions that affect its workers. We are expecting those bonuses next month but government has decided otherwise,” Dongo said.
Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union secretary-general Douglas Chikobvu said: “We strongly feel that the government might be trying to get a scapegoat to undercharge us and avoid paying ourbonuses decently. Above all, there is nothing to smile at given that most workers are wallowing in abject poverty courtesy of the government measly wage.”
Organising secretary for Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions, Farai Chinosengwa said the policy might trigger sexual harassment at workplaces where women will be abused to get favourable performance appraisal reports.
“l feel like his move will trigger sexual harassment with bosses using the bonus issue to leverage female teachers. The way PSC is handling workers’ conditions is that they are no longer negotiated.
“They are now just implementing. We don’t know who advised the commission on this wrong way of doing business,” Chinosengwa said.