Editor's Comment

Salary rise: Positive ripple effects expected


GOVERNMENT’S assurance to increase salaries for public service workers is good news.
It is good news because it gives hope to this category of workers, who have patiently waited for improved incomes since the government effected a wage freeze last year.
This decision was announced last Sunday through Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba.
“Government will award pay increases to all public sector workers from 2016,” the statement read.
He also stated that: “It is imperative that the overall size of public sector pay as a share of gross domestic product does not rise over the MTEF period.”
We find encouraging the desire by Government to increase the pay of hardworking public sector workers especially that the cost of living has gone high.
The pay rise will help them do more with their salaries which, most importantly, will give them impetus to serve their clientele, which is the public, better.
Everyone is always looking forward to improved service delivery by public workers.
Public workers have the widest reach in terms of service delivery to the Zambian community. They are all over the country through ministries, of which the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education are the most visible and connected to the ordinary Zambian.
It is expected, therefore, that the ripple effects of this motivation of more money in the pockets will spread to the millions of Zambians who are served by these workers.
Pupils will benefit more from the motivated teacher, patients will benefit more from the motivated nurse, and farmers will benefit more from agriculture extension experts.
We do know too that more money in the pockets alone is not the only motivator. The working environment must be conducive for one to diligently carryout their duties.
The teacher-pupil ratio and the patient-nurse ratio, for instance, is too wide and even if one had lots of money, they could be discouraged.
Thankfully, Government is not only aware of this fact, but more importantly, is actually doing something about it. The employment freeze has been lifted.
Already, the recruitment of health workers and teachers is underway and so the working environment will certainly get better not only for the workers, but also for the people being served.
It is noteworthy too that Mr Yamba has said that Government will concentrate on consolidating its fiscal stance to create budgetary space for indispensable services and infrastructure development, and ensure that the benefits of economic growth are shared widely by all citizens.
He named some of the vital services as those in the transport, communications and energy sectors of our economy.
These areas are critical to Zambia’s development. We need to improve our infrastructure, for instance, to attract the much-needed foreign direct investment.
Evidently, the right policies are being hatched and implemented. The onus is on all Zambians to use the resources prudently.

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