JUST IN: Gweru City employees reject $23 000 minimum wage

Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Sunday News Reporter

GWERU City Council workers who have downed tools in protest over the proposed salary increment rate by the local authority, have rejected a $ 23 000 minimum wage for unskilled and semi-skilled employees under Grade One.

Grade one category is for general hand employees.

The workers are demanding that the least paid employee under grade One pockets $ 30 000.

Council had proposed that a $ 10 000 basic salary for the least paid which will culminate to 23 000 including allowances.

The least paid is currently pocketing $ 15 000.

However, the workers are demanding $ 23 000 basic salaries for the least paid which will translate to more than $ 30 000 for the least paid inclusive of allowances.

Gweru Mayor Councillor Josiah Makombe said the local authority was prioritizing service delivery and employees should be paid salary rates that resonate with the economy as well as the revenue collected by council.

“The workers are alleging that they are paid slightly above $ 6000 for the least paid person who are mostly general hand and semi-skilled employees. What they are not saying is that after factoring in allowances, the least paid workers take home $ 15 000.

We had proposed to raise their basic salary to $10 000 which after allowances gets to $23 000 for the least paid. Some of the employees that fall under this category do not have adequate Ordinary Level qualifications,” he said.

Cllr Makombe said the local authority was also failing to recover money it was being owed by residents.

“We are collecting close to 40 percent of revenue from our projected collections. At the moment residents are defaulting. We are being owed $ 300 million by defaulting residents. We wish that the residents associations that are pushing for the salary increment for the workers also use the same platform to encourage residents to pay council bills.

Ideally, 70 percent of the revenue collections should be channeled towards service delivery while 30 percent should go to employees remunerations. But at the moment it’s the other way round,” he said.

JUST IN: Gweru City employees reject $23 000 minimum wage