Starting this month, civil officials will be compensated based on their academic credentials, experience, and seniority, as the government has revived a policy that supports progress of public workers.
The abandoning of public servant progression procedures in 2012 resulted in the “bunching” of employees’ pay across all grades.
Most government servants’ unions, particularly those in the education sector, were outraged by this development. They claimed that the pay disparity between grades was insignificant, which made many members hesitant to further their education.
Dr Tsitsi Choruma, Secretary of the Public Service Commission (PSC), stated in a statement on Friday that the promotion policy will go into effect this month.
“Following engagements in the context of the National Joint Negotiating Council, Government resolved to reactivate the advancement of all civil servants in terms of the applicable advancement procedures. Accordingly, the Public Service Commission embarked on and finalised the placement of all civil servants in their respective grades by the end of December 2022. All civil servants will, therefore, be paid the salaries that reflect their advancement and placement within their grades with effect from January 2023.”
To ensure no beneficiaries are left behind, Dr Choruma said, the PSC has since directed heads of line ministries to gather all relevant documents or higher qualifications from workers under their purview until the end of the first quarter of this year.
“In pursuit of the foregoing, all the Heads of Line Ministries are implored to submit all relevant higher qualifications obtained by civil servants under their ministries and departments to the Public Service Commission to facilitate the completion of the advancement exercise by 31st March 2023.”
She said the reactivation is in line with the Principal Procedures in the Public Service 2018.
“According to the Principal Procedures, advancement is the vertical movement of employees within their grades after a given number of years of service, the demonstration of satisfactory performance and/or acquisition of specified or relevant qualifications.”
Civil servants’ union leaders lauded the latest development, saying it was long overdue.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) president Mr Richard Gundani said the exercise is an issue of fundamental rights enshrined in the conditions of service.
“This gives meaning to promotion and seniority. Performance needs to be rewarded always. This used to be done when class teachers used to be promoted using that criterion. We welcome the development and urge the Government to do it in earnest and in consultation with the concerned unions,” he said.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Dr Takavafira Zhou said the review of grades would see civil servants getting what they deserved.
“If one is a headmaster, deputy or senior teacher, one should have something to show for that. What we only urge the Government is to walk the talk. The intention is good but what we usually differ on is the implementation plan. It must be clear among the stakeholders,” said Dr Zhou.
Meanwhile, the Treasury has set and released pay dates for all civil servants for this year.
The pay dates cover all categories of Government workers: the civil service; uniformed forces; health workers; independent commissions; and staff of grant-aided State institutions. The dates also cover the payment of pensions to retirees.
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