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Govt Faces Backlash For Deducting Civil Servants’ USD Salaries For Pension Contributions

1 week agoThu, 06 Jun 2024 09:19:57 GMT
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Govt Faces Backlash For Deducting Civil Servants’ USD Salaries For Pension Contributions

Trade unions representing public service workers have condemned the move by the Government to deduct their USD salaries for their pension contributions, reported NewsDay.

This comes after Public Service Commission (PSC) Secretary Tsitsi Rosemary Choruma-Dozwa on 28 May wrote a circular stating that all public service workers would be required to pay their pension contributions in foreign currency, starting this year.

Civil servants earn salaries both in United States dollars and ZiG and the new directive states that government workers would use the same ratio in making their contributions.

However, unions representing government workers have described the move as “fraudulent”.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary-general Raymond Majongwe has since written to the PSC challenging the decision to implement US dollar deductions.

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Majongwe said they were alarmed “by such callous unilateralism intended to further impoverish civil servants.” He added:

The US$ National Social Security Authority deductions must be commensurate with the US$ salary adjustments, and in any case, the proposed deductions and backdating are not a product of consultation with stakeholders such as unions representing the civil servants.

The US$ NSSA deductions must succeed in meaningful US$ salary adjustments which we feel are long overdue, and the PSC and government must respect its workers and desist from approaches that are tantamount to colonial master and servant relationship.

Speaking to NewsDay, Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said:

The US$ deduction is going to severely affect workers, the majority of who earn depressed salaries.

We continue to demand a US$1 260 salary for teachers so that they will have enough to cater for the basics even after paying these subscriptions.

Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) spokesperson Goodwill Taderera said:

What is critical is that they have to communicate before a deduction is made. We strongly advise that in future our employer should make a communication first so that we can prepare before a deduction is made.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) vice-president Valentine Chikosi:

Workers are faced with a precarious situation where their salaries are predominantly in ZiG yet their expenses are predominantly in United States dollars.

People need foreign currency to cover rent, transport, fuel, medical expenses and school fees among other statutory obligations.

Workers are left with no option but to source the much-needed US dollars from the black market risking being arrested.

Chikosi said the ZIG had so far failed to improve the welfare of workers, adding that there was an urgent need to address the “peanuts” salaries earned by most workers.

Meanwhile, the NSSA acting General Manager, Charles Shava, stated USD contributions by public service workers “would go a long way in sustaining the viability of the NSSA scheme.”

More: Pindula News

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