The negotiations involving Government and six cooperating public sector unions have reached a stalemate, after the two parties failed to reach a common ground on the recommendations of PEMANDU report.
Government is not willing to give in to demands by the six cooperating unions with regard to implementation of a structure which would have seen the public service doing away with the lowest salary scale of A3. Approval of such proposal by the unions would however result in the entire public service structure feeling the ripple effects. The parties agreed to a break on Friday in order to seek new mandate from mandate givers.
Tobokani Rari, the Botswana Federation of Public Sector Trade Unions (BOFEPUSU) secretary general, speaking on behalf the six cooperating unions being; Botswana Teachers Union (BTU), Botswana Sector of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU), Botswana Nurses Union (BONU), National Amalgamated Central, Local & Parastatal Manual Workers' Union (NALCPWU), and Botswana Landboards & Local Authorities Health Workers Union (BLLAHWU), stated that parties could not specifically find a common ground on a fundamental matter of closing the gap between the public employees’ current pay, and what the market is currently paying, and also, of addressing the injustice and discrimination within the public service salary structure occasioned by adjustments made to the salaries of the disciplined forces.
“The union party had propose that in line with the dispensation that was extended to the disciplined forces, the value of A3 salary band should be improved to that of A2 salary band which will have a ripple effect on the rest of the salary scales/hands in the public service,” he said in a statement released on Friday. According to Rari, over the past days there was no substantive progress on the negotiations, resulting in the union party invoking clause12 of the Rules of Engagement that allows any of the parties to the negotiations to consult its mandate givers.
The negotiations are scheduled to resume on the 9th of August following consultation with union membership. Unions want public servants to move one scale up to even them with the disciplined forces like police, BDF and prisons. They also call for the scrapping off of the A3 scale which pays an employee about P1600 per month. They want A3 to be moved to A1 which earns about P2300. Government has found itself in a tight corner ever since the PEMANDU report came to the surface.
In 2017, Government through the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM), commissioned Malaysian private consultancy firm, Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) Associates, to study the civil service structure, then offer diagnosis as well as the prognosis of the current structure. Pemandu Associate’s main mandate was to conduct preliminary assessments on the areas of remuneration management system.
In the report it was revealed that generally the Botswana Public service performance management is not functioning efficiently as it was supposed to be. According to the report, titled, “remuneration system project report for grades A to D,” there are issues on the complexity of performance appraisal form and biased session between employee and employer. It further reveals that “the Botswana Public Service today does not have a comprehensive remuneration structure and does not follow best practices.”
Some of the flaws in the system, it posits, is that the current Botswana public service remuneration follows a traditional model made up of grades and notches or steps within grades; and a new employee will start at the bottom notch of the grade as there is no flexibility to take into account special skills and experience. It states that the employee will move up from one notch to another based on promotion and that the notches remain steep, meaning an employee will reach the ceiling of the particular grade quickly.
“The salary for one grade does not overlap with another. This means that on reaching the ceiling (the top most notch of the salary grade), the employee must be promoted to another grade in order to advance in salary. In addition the current design does not have a fixed salary range – it is merely a series of notches within a particular grade and no fixed ceiling and floor levels. This has serious implications in terms of the salary structure in equilibrium.”
To illustrate this, the report gives an example of an employee (A) who may start at the lowest notch of a grade at P20 000 and another employee (B) at the highest notch earns P100 000 adding that the range between the lowest and the highest salary point is then therefore P80000. “Assuming there is a salary increment of 5 percent. Employee at the bottom will now earn P21000 whilst employee B will earn P105000. The gap between the two salary points increases from P80000 to P84000. With another 5 percent adjustment, the gap widens to P88200,” it highlights.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.