Govt pledges better welfare

ARUSHA: THE government has vowed to address several issues presented by the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA), while also calling for their full participation in improving the new retirement benefits formula and submitting their opinions.

Vice-President Dr Philip Mpango made the statement to the nation yesterday while marking International Workers’ Day in the Arusha Region, representing President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

One of the key issues highlighted by TUCTA was the need to improve the new retirement benefits formula.

Dr Mpango acknowledged their advice and assured that the government is committed to ensuring the resilience and sustainability of social security funds.

He emphasized the importance of expert advice in decision-making, particularly in the field of actuarial science.

The government will involve them in improving the retirement formula.

“The government encourages TUCTA to actively engage in this process and provide input to enhance the funds,” he explained.

Addressing concerns about salary increases, Dr Mpango reiterated the government’s commitment to improving the living standards of workers.

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He cited the increase in the minimum wage in the fiscal year 2022/23 as evidence of this commitment, aimed at easing the cost of living for employees.

Responding to TUCTA’s call for the creation of Minimum Wage Boards, Dr Mpango provided insights into the existing structures, highlighting the boards for both public and private sectors.

He mentioned that the Minimum Wage Board in the public service was created in 2016 and ended its term in 2023.

A new Board has been formed and continues its duties. The Board for the Private Sector was created in April 2022 and is still active.

“This board had a significant contribution in reaching the decision of the new minimum wage for the Private Sector announced through Government Announcement no. 687 on November 25, 2022, and will come into force from January 2023,” Dr Mpango noted.

He underscored the government’s efforts to ensure fair wages and working conditions across various industries.

Another issue raised by TUCTA pertained to the restoration of the Social Security Regulatory Authority (SSRA).

Dr Mpango acknowledged the concerns and assured that the government would evaluate the decision made in 2019.

He emphasized the importance of considering professional advice and operational realities in the social security sector before reaching a decision.

Regarding contract employment, Dr Mpango outlined the provisions of the Employment and Labor Relations Act, emphasizing the rights entitled to employees under different types of contracts, stressing the government’s pledge to uphold the principles of decent work and ensure that workers receive fair treatment and benefits.

Furthermore, Dr Mpango explained the government’s position the issue of employment agencies potentially acting as employers, stating that such practices are illegal and unacceptable.

He reaffirmed the government’s stance on the role of employment agencies in connecting job seekers with employers and pledged to enforce regulations to prevent any deviation from their designated functions.

The VP further called on workers to continue carrying out their responsibilities with diligence, expertise, integrity, and wholehearted dedication while prioritizing the interests of the nation.

“I also advise you to continually improve your work performance.I urge workers’ unions to engage with the government and businesses to increase productivity in our workplaces for the benefit of the nation and the workers themselves, while also campaigning for workers’ rights,” the VP said.

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International Labour Day is also known as May Day and Worker Day, a date commemorated globally to pay tribute to the struggle of workers for their rights and decent working conditions.

May Day is marked by history and labor demands since the end of the 19th century.It has a special meaning where the entrepreneurial spirit is manifested with great force.

Every year, the International Labour Organization (ILO) announces a theme for Workers’ Day. This year’s May Day theme is ‘ensuring safety and health at work in a changing climate.’

 

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