SUN REPORTER writes
UNIONISED workers at Isoka District Council (IDC) have gone on a sit in protest to demand for their three months’ salary arrears.
The Zambia United Local Authorities Workers Union of Zambia (ZULAWU) Provincial Secretary, Michael Chileshe, confirmed the development in a statement to The Sun on Thursday.
Mr Chileshe said the workers at Isoka District Council have not been paid their December 2018, February 2019 and March 2019 salaries.
“In solidarity, we wish to confirm that as of today, Wednesday, 27th March, 2019, our members at Isoka Town Council have not been paid their December 2018, February 2019 and March Salaries. It is quiet disheartening to see how our members are suffering when they have already sold their labour to the government,” Mr Chileshe said.
Mr Chileshe said it is disappointing that council workers across the country have become a laughing stock amongst public sector employees.
“It is disappointing to see how the government which the pro-poor government is has neglected council workers to the extent of becoming a laughing stock amongst public sector employees,” he said.
Mr Chileshe said councils have been unable to pay their workers due to unsustainable sources of income.
“Government has scrapped off incoming generating ventures that can help local authorities raise resources such as tollgates, road tax, grain levy and birds levy,” Mr Chileshe said.
“Constitutionally, those tollgates are supposed to be operated and managed by the local councils, road tax and all those things that can help generate resources for the council,” he said.
Mr Chileshe said once reinstated to the council, toll gate, road tax, grain and birds’ levies can help councils raise resources.
Mr Chileshe said council workers are now unable to pay children’s school fees, electricity and water bills.
“It is on record that over sixty-eight local authorities, including the newly created councils, have no capacity to pay their salaries due to lack of revenue sources and that all the local authorities are only being sustained through the local government equalisation fund,” he said.
Zulawu has since demanded that the Ministry of Finance to live up to the resolution to release equalisation fund in the first week of each month.