Gweru City Council has deferred the implementation of its planned job evaluation exercise to a later date after next month’s elections amid reports that sitting councillors were afraid that the programme would cost them votes.

BY Stephen Chadenga

Town clerk, Elizabeth Gwatipedza told stakeholders during a recent peer review meeting that the job evaluation exercise was completed and what was only left was the implementation.

“The job evaluation exercise was completed last year through the help of German International Cooperation and as council we will implement it in the long run. There is need for staff rationalisation because most of our revenue is gobbled by employment costs,” she said.

The exercise, meant to reduce the council’s ballooning wage bill, was shelved last November after councillors said they needed more time to consider its merits and demerits.

Investigations by this paper, however, revealed that councillors were not comfortable to have the exercise implemented, fearing it would make them unpopular ahead of the July 30 general elections.

Management, on the other hand, however, wants the exercise done urgently to cut down on employment costs.

“It’s now more than six months since the exercise was completed but there is pressure from councillors to shelve its implementation,” a senior council official who requested anonymity, said.

Mayor Charles Chikozho is on record saying council could not give a timeframe on when the exercise would be implemented since there was need to study its implications on service delivery and the workforce. The exercise is expected to see 500 workers losing their jobs and will cost council close to $3 million in retrenchment packages.

The local authority collects around $1,2 million every month in revenue, but spends about $1,3 million monthly on salaries, leaving council with no resources for service delivery.