Gvt turns to stands as salaries fail

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By Kundai Maponga

HIGH levels of inflation and skyrocketing prices which continue to erode disposable income has forced the Public Service Commission (PSC) to look elsewhere in an effort to motivate civil servants.

PSC deputy chairperson Mary Margaret Muchada said the commission was looking at non-monetary benefits as compensation for its workers to hedge them against the failing local currency.

“We accept there are challenges but as an employing agency we have resorted to be looking at improving non-monetary benefits that should underpin the individual’s earnings and to this end we are in constant negotiations with our helpers and the services providers for these particular services,” she said.

Recently the PSC acquired buses for its staffers in an effort to cushion them against the ever increasing cost of traveling.

“You saw recently the government increased the number of buses for the workers and this process has not ended, we are continuing to improve the transportation of our civil servants to and from work because we see that if we can underpin them there that’s one area where a civil servant is utilizing most of his or earning and the same will apply to housing and other things so the government remains open to be discussing with service providers and with the civil servants in improving these very issues,” she added.

Teachers have threatened to down tools ahead of schools opening next week over poor salaries but Muchada condemned these threats saying they are a departure from professionalism.

“You know there is what we call professional ethos, when I trained we were trained in ethics and if you are looking at ethics your professional ethics tell you that your client should be the number one. In fact, teacher-the client is the student, in this particular instance when a teacher sees himself as the number one then I think he needs  retraining,” she said.

The PSC said it was ready to go to the negotiating table with the teachers to avoid disruption of classes.

“If there are issues to discuss there are channels where teachers can raise their issues and discuss with the commission.

“Government is aware (of the economic challenges facing civil servants) and as a commission we have opened channels for discussion with them. We are always discussing, each time we discuss it’s not the end of it, there are steps that are taken in discussion and it will be a pity if some choose to move away from the discussion table,” she said.

Public schools are opening next week on September 10.