EMPLOYEES of local authorities have been awarded an average of four percent salary increment. The increment comes barely a month after civil servants received a similar increment with improved emoluments such as housing, transport, rural and remote hardship allowances. From the increment council workers have received, 8.5 percent will be given to the least paid employees in division four while the highest paid will get two percent. Ministry of Local Government Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga said the improved salaries and conditions of service for local authorities will be financed through this year’s Local Government Equalisation Fund and other council generated revenues. Mr Malupenga said this on Friday during the conclusion of the negotiations between Zambia United Local Authorities Workers Union (ZULAWU) and Fire Services Union of Zambia.
He said the graduated approach which has been used to award the workers is in line with the public pay policy which was agreed by the two parties in 2012. “Negotiations for local authorities’ employees in divisions two, three and four have been concluded and have been awarded four percent. The 4 percent increment is graduated in the rage of two percent to 8.5 percent,” he said. Local authorities have also received improved conditions of service like meal allowances which has increased from K85 to K100 and all salary-related allowances.
Mr Malupenga has directed council principal officers to develop strategies which will enable councils to improve revenue collection, efficiency and productivity. And ZULAWU president Kingsley Zulu urged local authorities to maximise the collection of revenue to create systems and provide proper controls for the locally generated resources. Mr Zulu said the integrity of any council lies in generating its own revenue. “We want Government to depoliticise markets and bus stations because colossal sums of money are collected by cadres.
Reducing the cashhuman contact will also go a long way in ensuring that what is collected reaches the council coffers,” Mr Zulu said. He urged Government to enact more laws to empower local authorities to collect and broaden their revenue base. Mr Zulu said there is also need to develop a deliberate policy for the liquidation of the long service bonus, which has been outstanding since 2012