Bulawayo City Council workers are up in arms with management after the majority received salaries less than ZiG20 while others were on minus after their pay was rebased following the introduction of the new currency.

Zimbabwe introduced a new gold-backed currency called Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) in early April to replace the local currency, which had been rendered worthless by inflation.

The new currency changes, however, affected Bulawayo council workers, who were shocked to receive less than what they used to earn the previous month.

This publication heard that morale among council workers had hit rock bottom amid reports that they were planning to down tools in protest.

An internal memo obtained by Southern Eye on Sunday dated April 29 addressed to various council departments from council’s human capital directors’ office confirmed that workers were left penniless after the currency changeover.

However, the memo shifted blame to other service providers for increasing their charges.

The memo is titled: Reduction in ZiG net salaries in the current month (April, 2024).

“In order to maintain the US$ amount that employees received during the previous payroll (March, 2024), 64,5103% of every employee’s basic salary was converted to forex (US$) component,” the memo reads.

“NSSA increased its ZWL$12 million of basic salary, deduction threshold.“(iii) Only 35% of basic salary remained to absorb ZiG deductions from various service providers.

“Could you kindly advise members of staff in your departments accordingly.”

Angry council workers exprssed their shock after receiving less than ZiG50 salaries.

“We just hope they will cushion us because on my side I received nothing,” said one council employee.

“My family needs welfare, we are waiting for better communication from them because this is just absurd.”

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) Western Region chairperson Ambrose Sibindi said the union had received several complaints from council workers over their reduced pay.

“According to workers, there could be a supplementary payroll, which workers can be paid before the end of the month because if someone got zero, how do they expect them to push through?” Sibindi asked.

“Mind you if the workers didn’t receive anything, this will affect service delivery.

“The residents will also be up in arms against Bulawayo City Council.

“I think this can easily be resolved internally without really much talk from other angles.”

He urged both parties to engage to resolve the salary dispute.

“I understand that even if the council budget was pegged in US dollars, they must just do the same with the salaries to cushion workers,” he said.

Council spokesperson Nesisa Mpofu refused to comment on the matter saying issues to do with worker’s salaries and other welfare matters were confidential.

“Wages and salaries and all issues to do with staff welfare and collective bargaining are very confidential and cannot be discussed with the members of the public,”Mpofu said.

“Doing so would jeopardise the employer/employee relationship/which is based on mutual trust and confidence.”

Mpofu said as at March 31 council had 2 813 employees against an authorised establishment of 4 562.

Source Southern eye