SOME civil servants, particularly teachers, have rapped government for forcing them to change their lifestyle after it shifted their pay dates from mid-month to monthends.
Several teachers interviewed at the weekend said the new salary dates announced by the Public Service Commission (PSC) meant that they would go into Christmas holidays unpaid.
Although Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) chief executive officer urged the authorities to stick to the said dates, teachers said the government appeared to have lost respect for the teaching profession.
“It is this kind of treatment that will force us either to abandon the profession or skip the country’s borders in search of better prospects elsewhere,” Maxwell Mahachi said.
Another teacher, who declined to be named, said the way their pay dates had been pushed right to the end of each month showed that the government could end up failing to pay.
“I think paying us right at the end of the month is just a way for the government to create breathing space as it is struggling to raise our salaries,” she said.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up with no salary at all.”
According to the schedule, the army would receive their salaries between the 12th and 16th day of every month, while teachers would receive theirs between the 24th and the 28th of every month.
Teachers said the Apex Council should have bargained for non-monetary benefits to compensate for the delay in salaries as a way of boosting worker morale.
“They should have balanced with other non-monetary benefits such as better accommodation, stands or houses, land and duty-free importation of commodities that are not affordable to us due to poor salaries,” said one teacher.
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said: “Like we stated early January, the government shortchanged us by pushing our pay dates 14 days from our normal pay dates.
“To make matters worse, they have shifted our December pay to the 28th, which means there would be no Christmas in 2015.
“The issue of bonus can actually be swept under the carpet.”