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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Civil servants pay more for funeral policy than medical

By Kelvin Kasiwulaya

In a rather unusual scenario, Zimbabwean Civil servants are paying more for funeral cover than medical aid fees, the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) has revealed.
This unusual scenario came to light in a letter written by ZCPSTU on the 1st of this month to the Minister of Health and Child Care advising Vice President Constantino Chiwenga to stop interfering in the affairs of the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS).

ZCPSTU decried the Government’s tendency to side-line civil servants on the PSMAS issue.
“Your announcement, Your Excellency is regrettably, yet another example of the employer making a unilateral decision on a matter of collective bargaining nature without consulting its employees at all

This observation is particularly important in view of the fact that on March 28, 2022, we wrote to [Minister] Paul Mavima (Pictured)  proposing that instead of the Government directly paying subscriptions on behalf of civil servants to PSMAS, it was fairer if the Government simply paid an allowance to all employees and leave them, scout, around and choose medical aid societies of their choice.

This would firstly allow freedom of choice and secondly allow numerous civil servants who are currently not on PSMAS and therefore not enjoying medical aid benefits, to also benefit therefrom.

We have taken note of the rather irrational scenario where we are paying more for funeral assurance than we do for medical aid. Surely, healthcare is more important than a burial.

An agreement has to be reached between the employer and us, the employees, on new salaries for the civil servants sooner rather than later to avert industrial disharmony.

Our below-inflation wages have impacted our access to affordable quality healthcare and PSMAS is the most affected in this regard.

Civil servants are requesting to meet Chiwenga as soon as possible to address the concerns raised, reads the letter.


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