State to harmonise lecturers’ perks
GOVERNMENT has resolved to harmonise salaries and other conditions of service for lecturers and researchers at the country’s three public universities to address disparities.
And University of Zambia Lecturers and Researchers Union (UNZALARU) has said the principle of equal-pay-for-equal-work in public universities has been abrogated and has demanded an electronic copy of the spreadsheet of the current personal emoluments.
The three public highest learning institutions are the University of Zambia (UNZA), Copperbelt University (CBU) and Mulungushi University.
Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education John Phiri said Government will also put in place measures to address the causes of huge debts the universities have accrued over the years.
He said the current way of reviewing salaries and conditions of service based on increments across the board has created distortions and disparities among workers’ remuneration thereby defeating the principle of equal-pay-for-equal-work.
Dr Phiri said in a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday that the recommendations from the technical team tasked to develop proposals on improved conditions of service will be implemented in phases.
“There will be measures that will be implemented in 2012 while some will require further elaboration to ensure that we achieve Government’s goal of making the terms and conditions of service for lecturers and researchers competitive,” he said.
Dr Phiri said his ministry has given different wage bill adjustments this year with the lowest paying institution receiving the largest adjustment rate while the highest paying institution has received the lowest adjustment.
The minister said UNZA has been given a 14 percent wage bill adjustment rate, Mulungushi University 5.5 percent and CBU 5 percent, effective April 1, 2012, January 1, 2013 and July 1, 2012 respectively.
And Dr Phiri has directed the three universities to abolish institution-based gratuity schemes with effect from January 1 next year.
“This means that each university must determine accrued benefits for each employee based on the current gratuity scheme up to December 31, 2012 and include the figure in the 2013 budget,” he said.
He said this measure will ensure that employees are paid their accrued benefits in a gradual process.
“Gratuity schemes based on contracts shall be treated in such a way that they continue to be in force until the end of the contracts. New contracts shall, however, be offered under the new policy framework,” he said.
Dr Phiri also directed that all pension schemes be reviewed and only maintain mandatory ones or those that are privately-managed.
And UNZALARU general secretary Jason Mwanza said there has been no harmonisation and standardisation of personal emoluments across the three public universities.
According to a notice of demands to the registrar issued on Tuesday, Mr Mwanza said there has only been an attempt to do an internal vertical harmonisation without job evaluation.
“From our preliminary analysis, we note that there is no nominal salary increase except for the transport allowance that has been introduced at 10 percent,” he said.
Mr Mwanza has since demanded an electronic copy of the spreadsheet of the current and proposed total costs of all personal emoluments and the formula used for calculation to be availed to the union.