Banking sector employers bite the dust; ordered to pay backdated 15 % increment

Business Reporter

A bid by the Banking Employers Association of Zimbabwe (BEAZ) to implement a peanuts salary increment has hit a snag following the decision by Retired Justice Nicholas Ndou to order the payment of a 15% increment.

BEAZ had opted to pay a 5% increment while the Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers Union (ZIBAWU) demanded a 26% increment for the period January to March 2024 on account of the high rate of inflation.

Having failed to find a lasting solution,parties to the dispute approached the Arbitrator ,Justice Ndou in search of the best reasonable compromise.

Issues placed before the learned Judge were to determine the percentage increase on NEC Banking minimum wages within a range of between 5% offered by the employers and 26% being demanded by the trade union for the period January to March 2024.

The arbitrator was also challenged to determine the percentage of the NEC Banking Minimum wages that must be paid in United States dollars from a range of between 70% offered by the employers and 80% being demanded by the trade union for the period.

BEAZ disputed the process arguing that parties must revert to the guidance provided under S.I 150 of 2013 which provides that Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiations must only be undertaken once a year and in line with inflationary pressures.

Having listened to submissions made by both parties Justice Ndou stressed the reality facing the parties is that economic , inflationary and monetary upheavals have made the implementation of SI 150 of 2013 impracticable.

“I hold that a purpose approach that ensures social justice is realised must be adopted.This will ensure that the real needs of the parties and the economy are addressed .

“The approach must underpin resolution of disputes under the Labour Act in terms of s2A (2) in a manner that ensures that the stated objectives of social justice and social democracy in the workplace are attained,” said Justice Ndou.

He added that having gone through all the facts at disposal of the tribunal a reasonable order has to be made.

“I make the following arbitrary award.The percentage increase on the NEC Banking minimum wages for the period shall be 15%,” ordered Ndou.

Under the arrangement the least paid worker in the Banking Sector in Grade A2 will be taking home a whooping US$644,99 per month with 73% of the sum being paid in hard currency.

The highest non-managerial paid banking worker will now be taking home US$851 per month with 73% of the total being paid in US$.

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