BULAWAYO COUNCIL WORKER’S PAY TO BE CUT 60% | THE Bulawayo City Council and its workers are headed for a clash after management put up a proposal to cut salaries by up to 60 percent as part of a rationalisation exercise.
Sunday News understands that the Zimbabwe Urban Councils’ Workers’ Union (ZUCWU) — Bulawayo Branch had to abandon negotiations when management could not give a straight answer on the salary cuts hence delaying the implementation of the staff rationalisation, restructuring and job evaluation exercise.
The exercise which was conducted by MBB Private Limited, a human resources consultancy firm, was completed in March and endorsed by councillors during a special council meeting.
Among the recommendations that were passed include the reduction of the required staff establishment from 5 071 to 4 082 with some employees’ grades reduced while others moved to other departments.
However, in the latest development implementing the exercise might take longer than envisaged after management allegedly came up with a proposal for a salary cut, something the workers are resisting. Contacted for comment the local authority’s spokesperson, Mrs Nesisa Mpofu could neither confirm nor deny that workers will get a salary cut but said the evaluation exercise was still under negotiations.
“The City of Bulawayo job evaluation exercise is still under negotiations at Works Council level that is the committee of council heads of department and the union executive. The Zimbabwe Urban Councils’ Workers’ Union (ZUCWU) — Bulawayo Branch requested for an
adjournment of negotiations at a Works Council meeting to allow it to consult its members.
“We are currently awaiting the Union to come back to the negotiating table after meeting its members. It should be noted that whatever action taken by council will be in consultation and agreement with the employees,” said Mrs Mpofu.
ZUCWU (Bulawayo branch) chairperson Mr Harold Moyo said it was premature for him to comment on the matter saying the issue was still under discussion.
“I cannot comment on that matter because the issue is still under discussion. Maybe you can talk to management they can tell you the situation on the ground because they are the ones allowed to talk to the media.
I am an employee and I am not allowed to talk about council issues to the media,” said Mr Moyo.
However, a council source revealed that council has now come up with a proposal to cut the salaries as part of the implementation of the job evaluation exercise.
“Initially, they tried blocking the report from the consultant, influencing councillors to reject it. Now that they are seeing that this failed they want to cut the salaries.When councillors endorsed the report of the consultant on the job evaluation exercise, the city’s Town Clerk is quoted as noting that it was unpopular because in implementing it, it will see some people being downgraded.
“The reason this exercise is largely unpopular is because it will see some people being downgraded as it was realised that their current positions do not require higher grades,” he said.
The job evaluation exercise was initially introduced by the local authority mainly as a means of addressing its bloated wage bill. Previously the local authority also considered the retrenchment of 1 049 workers with some having to endure salary and allowance cuts.
A couple of years ago the Harare City Council booted out its spokesperson Mr Leslie Gwindi and three other senior managers whose positions were made redundant by the city’s restructuring programme.
The city sent packing seven directors in an effort to reduce its salary bill, which was consuming more than half of its revenue.
The Harare City Council also collapsed several departments in a new structure, resulting in some directors becoming redundant.