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Bulawayo City Council workers demand housing stands

by Staff reporter
15 Sep 2019 at 06:53hrs | Views
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) workers have demanded that the local authority avail non-monetary allowances as they seek to identify ways of cushioning their salaries, it has been learnt.

This comes at a time when the local authority and its workers have been holding a wave of meetings to review their salaries inclusive of introducing a substantial Cost of Living Adjustment Allowance. According to a council confidential report, the workers have since forwarded a new proposal where they are calling on the introduction of non-monetary allowances inclusive 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.

The union also proposed that all council employees be exempted from paying parking fees noting that they deserved this privilege as they were members of staff.

"Workers also proposed the reintroduction of long service awards as it motivated worker to achieve the council's goals. Workers further proposed that long service awards be awarded and to be given to workers who had served council for a period of five years.

"Workers requested council to provide transport to ferry mourners to rural areas for the burial of only staff members, rather than the present arrangement which was confined to apply locally. In addition council must provide transport to transport a worker and their belonging on retirement to any destination in Zimbabwe," reads the report.

The workers further made a proposal for the local authority to improve housing allowances to workers on the lower grades.

"The proposal was that there should be a benchmark of $90 for all those whose 10 percent was lower than $90. They should be given a minimum of the proposed figures. Records were showing that council workers in the lower grades did not own houses and they were charged between $90 and $100 per room in their lodgings," reads the report.

The local authority has since forwarded the proposals for deliberation between council management and the council workers' union under the collective bargaining initiative. The latest developments come at a time when the local authority reported to have been hit by massive resignations, mainly qualified engineers with most seeking greener pastures outside the country.

This saw council, last month, passing a proposal for the reintroduction of a 20 percent Critical Shortage Areas Allowance to all its engineers so as 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.

Source - sundaynews