The Civil Servants and allied Workers Union of Zambia is demanding for an explanation from government on what has led to the delay in the payment of October Salaries, saying silence is causing anxiety among the workers.
CSAWUZ president Davy Chiyoba said, in an interview with News Diggers! that it was the duty of government to inform the workers of the delays in their salaries in order for them to adjust.
“Up to now, we are not aware when the workers will be paid. I am therefore imploring government to inform the workers and stakeholders when there are signals and signs that the salaries will delay. Let us share information and stop leaving workers in suspense,” Chiyobe said.
He expressed concern that the civil servants were panicking because they did not prepare for the delay in their salaries.
“There are anxieties and these anxieties and worries amongst the workers need to be addressed. Good management will only arise on extent that we are sharing information. Government has caused the worry in people by keeping quiet so let them inform the workers when they are getting paid,” he said.
He said on Monday, the union would directly engage the Minister of Finance to demand answers.
By Monday, if nothing comes out then we will have to get in touch with the ministry of finance to see how far the salaries are. My call on the minister of finance is to begin to be on the ground and be able to share this information. Sharing of information is very critical, which the government is not doing at the present. They may say that they have no obligation to get in touch but to a greater extent we are stakeholders, we represent these workers,” Chiyobe said.
“The workers can not go to government to ask why the salaries have delayed. They will come to the union because its our role. Its not the matter of knocking on governments doors when they know when the salaries are coming. What they need to do is manage any delay. When they are signals that there may be a delay, as unions, what we have always encouraged government to enter into a dialogue and say ‘colleagues we have this information that the salaries may delay’ and as such we can get down to our members and make those indications.”
Chiyobe however noted that although the salaries had delayed, by law, there was still a few days left within which government could pay the civil servants.
“If you have followed the trend you may realise that most of the civil servants salaries come in between 22nd to somewhere around 24, 25th. That is what we may call the salary calendar for the Zambian workers. However, there is a provision of the law either at the employment or Labour Industrial Relations which provides that the salaries shall be paid by the 5th day of the second month. Meaning that by the provisions of the law, the salaries have not delayed because we have not reached the 5th day of the second month,” observed Chiyobe.
“However, looking at it on the aspect of the salary calendar in Zambia, of payment between 22nd to 25th, yes, we will agree with the workers that the salaries have delayed. This is because when they get their salaries they normally budget to say ‘we are likely to get paid by next month as we always get paid around these days’. If anything goes beyond that salary calendar, it means that the salary has delayed.”