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Above Market: City of Harare Slashes Salaries

Harare - The Harare City Council will soon slash the salaries of all workers to reduce the wage bill which is gobbling a big chunk of the l...

Harare - The Harare City Council will soon slash the salaries of all workers to reduce the wage bill which is gobbling a big chunk of the local authority’s revenue.

The looming salary cut follows a survey by an independent commission of the city’s salary structure.

Salaries being paid to municipal workers are above market averages, with a council housekeeper/cook earning a monthly basic of US$752 while a patrolman pockets US$622. Farm guards get US$552.

A clinic matron earns US$1 400, a figure which is much higher than the US$600 paid to those at Government institutions. The local authority has over 9 000 workers and spends between US$10 million and US$12 million monthly on remuneration. 
Harare City Wages Huge Salary Bill

The decision to cut salaries comes after top executives tried to resist changes to their mega salaries and allowances. It was the council executives’ argument that the local authority had already reduced perks on August 15, 2015.

Harare mayor Councilor Bernard Manyenyeni told The Sunday Mail that the high wage bill was a burden that needed lessening.

“We hired an independent commission to look at all council employees’ salaries and compare with salaries on the job market. We will be guided by the commission’s report on how the exercise will be done. The issue must be resolved as soon as possible because salaries are chewing the bulk of our revenue at the expense of service delivery.”

Council has been failing to pay salaries on time and is in five months arrears. But Harare City Council workers union representative, Mr Cosmas Bungu said, “We have people who are sleeping on the wheel.

“They are failing to use available business opportunities. Council has a lot of business opportunities which can be harnessed to generate revenue. These opportunities are not being used.”

Human resources consultant Mr Memory Nguwi said companies should remodel their salary structures.

“Some companies are failing to manage their wage bill given the economic challenges facing the country. There is need to restructure the wage system and make the remuneration system competitive.

“Workers get incentives in good times but during hard times, it’s all about job security. The system should be flexible to accommodate both good and bad times without threatening the existence of the business or the job security of the employee.” - The Sunday Mail

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