via Civil service audit: Unions to engage Government | The Herald August 12, 2015
Civil servants unions will next week meet Government after about 3 000 teachers and some civil servants were struck off the payroll because they were not at their work stations when the Government conducted a head-count of personnel in April this year.
The physical count of teachers and other employees was meant to remove ghost workers from the payroll.
The affected civil servants did not get their July salaries.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) chief executive Mr Sifiso Ndlovu yesterday said they would be meeting their employer on August 18.
“We haven’t come up with a position as unions, but we’re going to be meeting with Government on August 18 to get a feedback on the affected teachers,” said Ndlovu.
Most of the teachers who went home empty-handed were on study leave, maternity leave, vacation leave and sick leave, while others had travelled after communicating with their superiors.
“I don’t have the actual number of affected teachers from other unions but there are close to 2 000 from Zimta who did not get their July salaries,” said Ndlovu.
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe was earlier reported saying that his union had received 318 complaints.
“Some said they were on maternity leave, study leave, while others had communicated with their respective superiors before travelling,” he said.
Other civil servants unions were not available for comment as they were unreachable on their mobile phones yesterday.
The Government in April embarked on a civil service audit in an effort to establish the size of its workforce.
The exercise was also meant to help contain the huge wage bill gobbling more than 80 percent of the national budget.
The exercise to trim the workforce, which was initiated by the ministry of Labour, Public Service and Social Welfare, began with a head-count in the ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira last week said there would be no problems for those who would prove their status.
“It is no longer business as usual because we want efficiency and discipline in the system,” Minister Mupfumira who is also the Acting Minister for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, said.
“We are not retrenching or firing anyone from the service, but it is just cessation of salaries because we have to pay someone for work done.
“We cannot pre-empt the audit because it was ordered by Cabinet. There are steps which should be followed. The 3 000 workers are not only teachers, but include other civil servants who were not present when the head-count was done. Those affected will have their salaries reinstated after proving that they exist in the system.”
Minister Mupfumira said some bona fide workers were coming forward through the respective structures and their salaries would be reinstated.
“We did the audit in March and the instruction was that if you were not at the work station you should go to the district offices with the relevant documents,” she said.
“Some did so between April, May and June and some never bothered to do so until the Civil Service Commission took a decision to cease their salaries. Real workers are coming forward.”
Government called for the audit as more than 80 percent of the revenue collected is going towards salaries, starving other sectors like infrastructure development.
In his 2015 Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said Government would cut the civil service wage bill to 40 percent.