Gweru City Councillors have proposed that employees come to work for two weeks per month in a bid to address salary backlogs as well as manage the ballooning wage arrears, Southern Eye has learnt.
Since dollarisation in 2009, the cash-strapped municipality has been failing to pay workers on time and is currently in four months’ salary arrears.
Sources who attended a meeting by the finance committee last week said councillors proposed to cut working hours of workers to reduce the wage accumulation that has seen the local authority owing its employees thousands of dollars.
“The issue for council employees to come to work for two weeks per month was proposed at a finance committee meeting,” said a councillor who attended the meeting.
Mayor Hamutendi Kombayi confirmed that the proposal had been raised, but said it had not yet been passed.
Kombayi said councillors felt retrenching workers would worsen their plight, but proposed that they work for two weeks per month so that the other half of the month covers the salary backlog.
“The proposal is yet to be ratified at a full council meeting if management agrees to the suggestion,” he said.
“Council is trying to come up with ways to address the huge salary arrears owed to workers at the same time avoiding retrenching workers.”
The workers’ union has since taken the municipality to the Labour ministry over the issue of failing to pay employees’ salaries.