Workers harbour high hopes

TANZANIA: AS Tanzanian workers join the rest of employees across the world today, the hopes are high for improved welfare and working conditions in the coming financial year.

All ears and eyes will be on Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium, where thousands of workers from both the public and private sectors are set to mark the International Labour Day, annual celebration that recognises and honours the achievements and contributions of the working class.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan, who has made commendable efforts to uplift the country’s workers since coming into power, is expected to grace the event in the northern tourist region.

Speaking ahead of the May Day celebrations, the president of the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA) Mr Tumaini Nyamhokya expressed the workers’ appreciation of the government’s commitment and pace to address their challenges.

He commended President Samia’s government for implementing the annual salary increments provision, ensuring promotion and tireless efforts to improve the working environments.

Mr Nyamhokya told the ‘Daily News’ that workers were satisfied with President Samia’s laudable efforts in ensuring public servants across the country are promoted.

“Many employees have been promoted, we are grateful for that, there are few who had some personal concerns, we believe the government will resolve them as well.TUCTA is satisfied with the promotion exercise,” he noted. “The salary increment was paid and there are no any complaints about it,” he added.

The TUCTA boss noted that this year’s Workers’ Day will be used to celebrate all achievements and identify workable solutions to the existing challenges.

Mr Nyamhokya shared workers’ hopes that the government will continue addressing the remaining and emerging challenges, noting that the employee retirement benefits and the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) remain key areas of concern.

He said TUCTA has already submitted its opinion to the government seeking attention to the matter in this year’s International Workers Day.

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Mr Nyamhoka insisted that TUCTA will always push the government to improve workers’ welfare and thus stimulate development in the country.

“TUCTA will continue presenting workers’ concerns to the government in a bid to scale their welfare and catalyse the country’s development at large,” he stressed.

For her part, the Association of Tanzania Employers’ (ATE), Chief Executive Officers (CEO), Ms Suzanne Ndomba underlined the workers’ critical role in national development endeavours.

“ATE ensures the government and all other employers comply with laws and regulations, as this helps to create a conducive working environment for employees in both public and private sectors,” she noted.

She said the association among other things observes payment of minimum wages as per the country’s laws and regulations.

She said ATE has been collaborating with various government agencies including the Occupational Safety and Health Authority (OSHA) on matters pertaining to employees’ safety and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) on issues of social security services such as retirement pensions.

Ms Ndomba extended her May Day heartfelt greeting to all private employers in the country, emphasizing compliance with the country’s laws, including ensuring timely payment of salaries.

Last year, the International Workers’ Day in the country was marked at Jamhuri Stadium in Morogoro Region through 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.’

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