ZAMBIA United Local Authority Workers Union (ZULAWU) has called on Government to quickly resolve issues surrounding grants and Equalization funding for council workers especially those councils that had no capacity to pay its workers.
The union is further demanding that the Equalization fund from the Local Government should go side by side with grants thereby enabling councils to pay salaries to workers under the aegis.
But Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing, Nicolas Banda says the problem surrounding the council worker’s salaries was currently being discussed by the Ministries of Finance and the Local Government. Mr Banda, who acknowledged the Unions concerns, said the Government was looking into the matter at various levels. Mr Nyambose said that the decision to stop giving grants to district councils had resulted in local authorities reverting to old salaries for division 4 workers who were the responsibility of councils unlike division 1, 2 and 3 whose wage bill was paid by Government.
Mr Nyambose said there was need for Government to create harmony in the council workers grades by putting them under the Government payroll.
Mr Nyambose said the council workers were heartbroken with Government’s decision to enact the Local Government Act of 2014.
“We have appealed to the Head of State to intervene in the matter because the situation is very challenging. The workers are living in suspense as to what is happening to them,” he said.
Mr Nyambose said it was unacceptable that Government decided to amend the Local Government Act which provided for the allocation of grants to district councils such as salary grants, fire services grants, grant in lieu of rates, restricting grants, and water and sanitation grants among other services, without consulting the stakeholders.