Zimbabwe Freezes Worker Promotion To Cut Wage Bill

4 months ago
Tue, 23 May 2023 06:53:32 GMT
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Zimbabwe Freezes Worker Promotion To Cut Wage Bill

The government of Zimbabwe has implemented new regulations that restrict the regrading and promotion of its workers, as it seeks to reduce its wage bill.

In the civil service, higher grades correspond to higher salaries; however, the regrading process has become cumbersome, causing many government workers to go up to four years without being regraded, despite having acquired higher qualifications.

Workers’ representatives have reported that thousands of workers have remained in the same grades, despite applying for higher grades.

In a circular dated March 13, 2023, the Public Service Commission’s head of human capital and development, Walter Mpandawana, outlined additional documentation required for one to be upgraded. He said:

Please be advised that, when submitting candidates for regarding on the basis of attaining higher qualifications of members, or when notifying the commission of the attainment of higher or additional qualification of members, the ministries should attach a Manpower  Development leave approval or proof of declaration of studies for members who did their studies on their personal time.

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You should also verify the authenticity of the certificates and stamp the copies confirming sight of the copies of the original document.

According to workers, some government officials are deliberately slowing down the regrading process, causing some workers to give up. A teacher who spoke to NewsDay on condition of anonymity said they graduated in 2018 with a first degree and later obtained a second degree but have not been regraded. The teacher claimed that the government is providing frivolous excuses for the delay. Although the teacher has proof of their education, the additional requirements for confirmation of permission to write exams are with district archives, which cannot produce the documents. Without these requirements, the teacher cannot be regraded. 

Enock Dongo, the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Nurses Association, has expressed concern about the government’s failure to upgrade workers after they acquire higher qualifications. He said that the lack of incentives for workers who have attained higher qualifications is demotivating. This affects job efficiency because workers should be rewarded based on their skills and qualifications. In other countries, workers are rewarded based on their expertise and qualifications. Dongo also noted that failing to reward workers properly has led to an increase in emigration, which is not a positive development if Zimbabwe is to achieve its goals for 2030.

Goodwill Taderera, the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Teachers Association, stated that the government has established procedures and requirements for workers to be regraded after obtaining higher qualifications. He urged members to comply with these requirements. However, if there is a deliberate attempt to obstruct the regrading process, Taderera encouraged members to report the issue to the association. The association will then engage with the government to address the issue.

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