Salary increment, retirement scheme top workers’ demands

ARUSHA: THE Tanzania Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA) has called on the government to provide lasting solutions to various challenges facing workers across the country.

The Tanzanian workers joined the rest of the world’s workforce to commemorate the International Labour Day, which recognises and honours the achievements and contributions of the working class.

TUCTA said despite major strides in the improvement of workers’ welfares in the last three years, there were still pending issues that the government need to address.

In a colourful ceremony that attracted thousands of workers gathered at the Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium in Arusha, TUCTA’s Secretary General, Dr Henry Mkunda, presented the workers’ wishlist, urging the government to address the long-standing grievances of workers.

“TUCTA is requesting the government’s intervention to resolve these matters. While we acknowledge the progress made in the past three years, we emphasize the need for further action,” he said.

ALSO READ: Govt pledges better welfare

Dr Mkunda highlighted salary increments, improved working conditions, and maternity leave for premature mothers as major issues requiring immediate government attention. He also reiterated their call for increasing minimum wage, reviewing National Health Insurance packages, job contracts, taxes, and the computation of retirement benefits, as these directly impact workers’ lives.

Dr Mkunda addressed the gathered crowd, acknowledging the government’s achievements over the past three years while emphasizing the challenges still faced by workers in the country.

According to TUCTA, workers are dissatisfied with some of the contracts they have with their employers, and the government must find a resolution to address the issue.

“Some of the workers are dissatisfied with their contracts. We urge the government to ensure that employers respect these contracts and adhere to the laws of the land,” he said.

Dr Mkunda also highlighted poor working environments as a significant challenge for many workers in the country. He also called for the reinstatement of the Social Security Regulatory Authority (SSRA) to regulate social security schemes in the country. Regarding taxes, Dr Mkunda noted that workers are burdened with high tax rates compared to their low monthly salaries.

“We are paying excessive taxes, which reduce employees’ income. The prices of many commodities are rising, while our salaries remain stagnant. What we earn is insufficient to support our families,” he stated.

Dr Mkunda urged the government to strengthen the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration (CMA) to help resolve workers’ issues effectively.

“CMA’s presence is lacking in some areas. There are councils without CMA offices, hindering the resolution of workers’ disputes,” he added.

He also stressed the importance of protecting mothers of premature babies, advocating for extended maternity leave even after the babies are out of incubators.

ALSO READ: Kisanga endorsed as new TCCIA chief executive officer

TUCTA are arguing that maternity leave days should not be counted while infants are still in incubators. Last year, the International Workers’ Day in the country was marked at Jamhuri Stadium in Morogoro Region, during which President Samia Suluhu Hassan announced a number of incentives to public servants, including reinstatement of the mandatory annual increment, promotions and an increase in workers’ allowances.

Dr Samia assured the public and private sector’s workers that the government was committed to upgrading their working conditions.

Tabling the 2024/2025 budget estimates for the President’s Office (Public Service Management and Good Governance) in parliament recently, Minister George Simbachamwene said the government has allocated 252bn/- for the promotion of 219,924 qualified public servants. Winding up his ministry’s 1.10tri/- budget for the coming financial year, the Minister said the government will spend the said amount on public servants whose names have been lined up after meeting promotion qualifications. The MP endorsed 1.10tri/- for his Ministry.

The Minister added that the government has also allocated 150.8bn/- for salary increments in 2024/2025.

“The government is also looking forward to paying increments to public servants, and after consultation and analysis, we have come up with 150.8bn/- as an amount to be paid in the 2024/2025 fiscal year in increment,” he noted.

He said the government has enabled 722 public servants with both short- and long-term capacity building programmes in the ending 2023/2024 fiscal year.

The theme for this year’s May Day commemorations is ‘Salary increment forms the foundation for a better retirement package and provides a cushion against life’s challenges.’

Related Articles

Back to top button