Review the salaries of Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe Employees
Review the salaries of Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe Employees
Why this petition matters
PETITION TO THE STANDARD CHARTERED BANK GROUP
RE: NON PAYMENT OF LIVING WAGE FOR SCB ZIMBABWEAN EMPLOYEES
Whereas we the Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers Union is a duly registered trade union representing the rights of workers in the banking sector in Zimbabwe;
Whereas we are concerned about the welfare of the employees of Standard Chartered Bank in Zimbabwe;
And whereas we are cognisant and in full support of the SCB group’s recent charter on Fair Pay;
We do hereby write this petition on behalf of the employees of Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe and highlight the following concerns;
1. Fair Pay Principle 1: Payment of a living wage
We note with concern that the salaries being earned by the employees at SCB Zimbabwe do not cater for a sustainable living wage. The gross salary for an employee as at February 2022 is around Z$60,000 (sixty thousand Zimbabwean dollars). On the other hand, the published Consumer Council of Zimbabwe Family Basket for the period ending January 2022 stood at Z$75,000 (seventy-five thousand Zimbabwean dollars). Accepting that a living wage is a wage that enables an employee to meet his basic needs (physiological needs and security needs), i.e. accommodation, food, transport, health, communication, clothing & footwear and education, the salaries of the employees no longer cover any of these basic needs. This moreso as the majority of SCB employees’ salaries net to about Z$22,000 (twenty-two thousand Zimbabwean dollars) Further, as part of its principles, the SCB group prides itself in going beyond the minimum wage requirements. However, the reality on the ground is that the group has refused to increase salaries any further until the industry minimums have been finalised and agreed on. The pitfall that bedevils the employees in this regard is that the industry negotiations are at a standstill as the employer organisation refuses to incorporate the payment of a living wage as part of the minimum salary negotiations. The irony in this situation is that the SCB group’s Pay Charter advocates for payment of a living wage, the very same cause that the employees’ union seeks to advance in industry negotiations. It is in this regard that we implore the Group to intervene in the Zimbabwean SCB situation and ensure compliance with the Pay Charter, by reviewing the salaries of the Zimbabwean SCB employees to a minimum living wage that caters for the employees’ basic needs.
2. Fair Pay Principle 2: Providing security
Whilst the vision of the group is to ensure and commit itself to the wellbeing of its staff, the situation in Zimbabwe reflects a different story. Coupled with the non-payment of a living wage, SCB employees in Zimbabwe are not afforded benefits such as school fees allowance or full medical aid cover. In fact, a glance at the pay-slip of an SCB Zimbabwe employee will reveal that three quarters of an employee’s salary is automatically deducted to cater for the repayment of loans, statutory deductions, and medical aid contributions. The net salary left in such scenarios does not cover the employee’s monthly grocery costs. We therefore implore to group to actively and substantively cater for accommodation, food, transport, health, communication, clothing & footwear and education. This can be done, for instance, by considering the full payment of school fees, full payment of medical aid cover, full payment of funeral policy cover, and provision of clothing allowance.
3. Fair Pay Principle 4: Reliable Pay administration
The employees’ stance on this principle is that while the administration of salaries may be done efficiently and conveniently, it is essential that the currency being paid out also be convenient. Zimbabwe is a multi-currency economy that is pre-dominantly reliant on the United States dollar. Rentals, food items, health care, to mention a few, are all pegged in foreign currency. International banks with branches in Zimbabwe such as Nedbank, Ecobank and Stanbic have also adapted to the indelible presence of the United States dollar as a currency of use and have consequently started paying a portion of their employees’ salaries in United States dollars. The government of Zimbabwe also recently adopted the same approach and has started paying civil servants in foreign currency. It is unfortunate to note however, that SCB Zimbabwe employees are still being paid their full salaries in Zimbabwean dollars. This payment method is detrimental to the welfare of the employees as the local currency’s value against the United States dollar diminishes in value every day primarily because the pricing of goods and services are predominantly pegged in foreign currency, the unstable parallel market rates and inflation. In view of this, the SCB group ought to intervene and direct that salaries be paid (either in full or in part) in a currency that is efficient and convenient for the employees, i.e. United States dollars.
4. Fair Pay Principle 5: Competitive pay opportunities
The Zimbabwean banking sector in recent days has proven to be one of the lowest paid industries in Zimbabwe due to a breakdown in the collective bargaining process. SCB has played an equally damning role to this statistic. An SCB employee in Zimbabwe is taking home a net salary of $22,000 (twenty-two thousand Zimbabwean dollars) per month which translates to less than US$100 (two hundred united states dollars). Surely a monthly salary of US$100 is not what the group considers competitive in the outside world market. The group’s local management has refused to review these salaries on the premise that it awaits the currently non-progressive industry negotiations- leaving employees destitute and unable to cater for themselves. It is therefore imperative that the group revises employees’ total fixed and variable salaries to suit the stated principle.
In view of the above realities of the Zimbabwean SCB employee, we petition your good office to do the following;
a. Honor your fair Pay C
b. harter and end modern slavery in your Zimbabwean operation
c. Review the salaries of the Zimbabwean employees to a minimum living wage that caters for the employees’ basic needs.
d. Introduce benefits that actively and substantively cater for accommodation, food, transport, health, communication, clothing & footwear and education.
e. Pay the full or partial portion of the employees’ salaries in United States dollars.
It is our sincere hope that we will hear from you at your earliest convenience or rather that your immediate implementation of the said proposals will speak for themselves.
P. G. MUTASA
Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers Union
(For and on behalf of SCB Zimbabwe employees)