MAY DAY Hopes remain high

AS President Samia Suluhu Hassan is expected to grace May Day celebrations marked at the national level in Morogoro Region today, hopes remain high among public servants for the government to further improve their welfare.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa toured the Jamhuri grounds to ensure preparations for the much-celebrated event among workers are well set, expressing satisfaction on the entire arrangements.

Last year, President Samia managed to put a smile on the workers’ faces after some years of waiting to get a raise of their salaries, when she approved the proposed salary increase, including a minimum wage for public servants by 23.3 per cent.

In a speech to the nation, she stated that salary increase will be implemented, as she pledged in the year 2021, but not at the amount proposed by the Tanzanian Trades Union Congress (TUCTA). TUCTA had suggested a monthly minimum salary of at least 1,010,000/-.

“What we achieved this fiscal year, including tax reductions was the measure we took to ensure we improved workers’ welfare; despite that, the wage increase I promised last May Day is still in place,” President Samia stated.

She added, “The country’s economic growth slowed, but we work hard to ensure things return to normal.”

She stated that the government established a minimum wage board for all sectors, both public and private, and performed assessments to improve the present minimum wage.

However, in 2021 at CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza Region President Samia had reduced Pay as You Earn (PAYE) from 9 per cent to 8 per cent.

President Samia indicated that the change enhanced the employees’ salary and hence improved lives which resulted in the government waiving 14.1bn/-.

Other measures which had been taken by the government include raising the health insurance age for children from 18 to 21 years, which resulted in the registration of 65,355 children who would have paid 3.7bn/- if their parents paid cash.

She also stated that the government had waived the 6 per cent value retention fee (VRF) that the Higher Education Students Loans Board (HESLB) has charged annually on the outstanding loan balance.

The government also cancelled higher learning loans amounting to 1.168tril/- that was for defaulted students’ loans.

Equally, President Samia said 198,215 individuals were promoted, and the government spent 41bn/- on salaries. 21,224 employees were reassigned to new cadres and paid 4.3bn/-, while 75,007 people were paid 124.3bn/- and given new employment for which the government spent 1.1bn/-.

On retirement benefits, she said in terms of benefits and welfares for retirees; the government had allocated 2.17tril/- for the payment of benefits to members inherited from the former PSPF and LAPF Public Service Pension Fund.

Ahead of the event today, the Premier said that the commemorations act as a crucial platform for the country workers to hear the government’s position from the Head of State, who is the guest of honour.

This year’s commemoration is marked under the theme of “Mishahara Bora na Ajira za Staha ni Nguzo kwa Maendeleo ya Wafanyakazi,  wakati ni Sasa”,

“The commemorations are crucial for workers and marks an important time whereby all the country’s public servants meet to exchange ideas and get a clear direction from the Head of State,” said Mr Majaliwa.

The Premier applauded the umbrella body of trade unions in the country TUCTA and all other unions for taking part in the effective preparations of the event in collaboration with the office of the Regional Commissioner among other stakeholders.

For his part, TUCTA President Tumaini Nyamhokya pledged to ensure a handsome turnout at the Jamhuri Stadium, while also maintaining peace and order in collaboration with other organs during the entire time of the event.

Morogoro Regional Commissioner (RC), Ms Fatma Mwasa, who doubles as the organising committee Chairperson observed that all preparations for the event were intact, noting that the region was ready to host all the guests.

It took about 12 years for Morogoro Region to host the commemorations whereas the last time the event was carried out in the region was in 2011.

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