PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan gave the country’s workers reason to smile with promises and hope after guaranteeing them a salary review and increase.
In an address to the nation on International Workers’ Day in Dodoma City on Sunday, President Samia said wage increases would be implemented, as she promised last year, but not at the amount proposed by the Tanzanian Trades Union Congress (TUCTA).
TUCTA has suggested a monthly minimum wage of at least 1,010,000/-.
“What we’ve achieved in this fiscal year, including the tax cuts, is the step we’ve taken to make sure we’re improving worker welfare; despite this, the salary increase that I promised last May 1 is still in place,” said President Samia.
She added, “The country’s economic growth has slowed, but we are working hard to get things back to normal.
“And because I promised something (a salary increase) last year, something good is on the way; the calculations are in progress, and we will know how much will be increased later.”
According to President Samia, the theme for May Day this year, “Better pay for better benefits is our concern, Kaiendelee,” delivers an important message aimed at improving the welfare of workers.
Minimum Wage Board Chairperson Samia said she was aware of the functions of Minimum Wage Boards to advise the government on planning for lowest wages and other employment opportunities in the workplace and to continue to defend the interests of employees.
Clarifying, she said the government has set up a minimum wage council for all sectors, public and private, and carried out assessments to improve the current minimum wage.
“I call on the ministries in charge of these bodies to ensure that they empower them to carry out their responsibilities effectively and professionally for the intended purposes,” she said.
Payroll taxes It will be recalled, she continued, that the payroll tax rate was above 18% in 2012, but that after negotiations between the government and the unions, the rate was reduced single digit of 9%. at a salary level above 170,000/-.
She said that from July last year; the government went beyond the terms of the agreement by lowering the PAYE tax to 8%, thus increasing the tax rate from 170,000/- to 270,000/-.
President Samia says the change has increased the salaries of the employees and therefore improved life.
Other measures taken by the government include the reduction of PAYE taxes, which led the government to waive 14.1 billion/- and to raise the age of health insurance for children from 18 to 21 years old, which resulted in the registration of 65,355 children who would have paid 3.7 billion/- – if their parents had paid cash.
She also said the government had waived the 6% Value Retention Fee (VRF) that the Higher Education Student Loans Board (HESLB) imposed each year on the outstanding loan balance.
The government also canceled higher education loans amounting to 1,168 tril/- which were meant for student loans in default.
Similarly, President Samia said that 198,215 people had been promoted and the government had spent 41 billion/- on salaries. 21,224 employees were reassigned to new cadres and paid 4.3 billion/-, while 75,007 people were paid 124.3 billion/- and got new jobs for which the government spent 1.1 billion/ -.
Retirement benefits She said in terms of benefits and rates for retirees; the government had allocated 2.17 tril/- for the payment of benefits to members inherited from the former Public Service Pension Fund PSPF and LAPF.
Payment of benefits took place within 60 days, according to the Head of State, thanks to the improvement of pension services, in particular the establishment of an electronic system integrated with the system of the National Authority of ID (NIDA).
“This is due to the ease of registering members’ information without having to visit the fund’s offices,” she explained.
President Samia urged employers to prepare their employees’ expected retirement payments including benefits before their retirement and departure dates to ensure that they receive their full contributions.
Regarding the pension benefit formula, she explained that the problem persisted at 25-50% and noted that they expected to meet with the TUCTA to see how they could do it, insisting that the problem be solved this year. .
Harassment in the workplace President Samia said that there have been complaints of harassment in some workplaces and such acts have often been perpetrated by some employers and officials, contrary to laws, regulations, procedures and guidelines of the public service. She said the Regional Administration Act No. 19 of 1997 empowers the Regional and District Commissioner to detain a public servant who commits an offense endangering the safety or security of another person for 48 hours.
“I agree with TUCTA’s criticisms that this clause is exploited in certain situations, where an employee stands up and dares to speak the truth, and I urge all those who are authorized to use this clause to apply it in accordance to instructions,” she said.