Pay civil servants’ salaries on time
Posted Friday, February 8 2013 at 02:00
As if cases of delayed send-off packages were not enough, retired civil servants learned that money meant to pay them was stolen last year.
Working for the government is already hard enough because one is paid only a fraction of what employees in the private sector earn, for doing the same job.
The gratuity and pension, which could attempt to make up for this disparity at the end of it all, have become a rotting ulcer in an already cancerous public service.
As if cases of delayed send-off packages were not enough, retired civil servants learned that money meant to pay them was stolen last year. This does little good for civil service morale, except to send it sinking even farther into the low depths of employee truancy.
It is, therefore, a blunder of scandalous proportions that the government can confess it has not paid its workers’ salaries, a week into the new month.
This newspaper yesterday reported that for the third time in seven months, the government has failed to pay civil servants on time!
The technical delays that affect timely payment of civil servants’ salaries should be sorted out once and for all. The government must immediately rush off to pay its workers their due labour’s worth. And, measures must be out in place to ensure workers’ salaries are always paid promptly.
The same sense of urgency that sends the government rushing into the Central Bank to pay for fighter jets or pay off stolen donor funds, should grip government before the 30th day of every month to pay the people who get its work done.
We must learn simple basics of efficiency, like the fact that you put your money where your mouth is. Some of the men and women whose salaries have delayed spend sleepless nights keeping our borders safe. They spend long hours giving our children the basic education they need to make it in life. They spend days and nights in ill-equipped hospitals trying to save another mother from death while in labour. It is an embarrassment on government that after giving their labour, civil servants turn up at the bank to find nothing.
The delay in salary payment seems to suggest the government has more pressing needs, more important than a healthy productive workforce. That would be a gross oversight. Government must act to show it does not have its priorities upside down.