Africa-Press – Zimbabwe. Teachers are reportedly not happy that the government has deducted 2.5% from their salaries towards the newly established Government Employee Mutual Savings (GEMS) Fund, The Standard reports.
The government reportedly created this fund in a bid to offer flexible loans to the fund members who can access the loans in 3 months or be reimbursed if they are not interested.
PTUZ spokesperson Peter Machenjera told the publication that the government should have asked for their consent before deducting the money from their accounts:
At law, any deduction from an employee’s salary or wage should get the employee’s consent. In most cases, deduction forms are completed by the employee, instructing the Salary Service Bureau (SSB) to effect such deduction and appending a signature to authenticate and authorise the same.
However, what the teachers in particular, and civil servants in general, witnessed yesterday (Thursday) was a clear act of chicanery and thievery from an uncaring government. Teachers woke up (on Friday) to witness the shock of the day when they discovered that government had fulfilled its dubious 2.5% GEMS Fund deductions from every government worker’s salary.
What makes this a criminal act is that government never consulted its workers or the workers’ representatives as per norm. It is this paternalistic approach, which surprised the teachers and can only be described as daylight robbery.
At a time teachers were/are expecting a restoration of the purchasing power parity of their salaries, the government was busy planning how to circumcise salaries of suffering teachers, who have since tested positive to poverty.
Government is, therefore, reminded that the paternalistic approach will not work, but collective and inclusive dialogue, and mutual understand.
The government and teachers have been going back and forth over their salaries for close to 2 years now as the latter constantly cites incapacitation while the former is always promising to improve the latter’s earnings.
More: The Standard