Mmegi Online :: UDC proposes 17% salary increase for civil servants
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Friday 16 November 2018, 13:42 pm.
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UDC proposes 17% salary increase for civil servants

Opposition Member of Parliament for Gaborone Bonnington South, Ndaba Gaolathe says the salaries for public servants should be increased by 17% effective immediately. Each year, the Government and trade Unions are locked in court battles as they fail to agree on the salary adjustment.
By Goitsemodimo Kaelo Fri 10 Feb 2017, 11:56 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: UDC proposes 17% salary increase for civil servants








Last year, Government increased salaries for non-unionised officers by three percent after reaching a deadlock with trade unions on salary negotiations at the bargaining council.  Gaolathe, who stood in for the Leader of Opposition, Duma  Boko to respond to the budget Speech delivered by the Finance and Economic Development minister, Kenneth Matambo, chose to point less to the inadequacies of the Government’s budget and underlying policies than focus on ideas that can lift the nation above the ensuing disaster of unemployment, inequality and poverty.

He said the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Government would increase recurrent budget based on the proposal to adjust public servants’ salaries by 17% with immediate effect to create a highly productive and incentivised workforce.  “Salary increases in the ensuing years would decline, and plans put in place to set a transparent manner for adjusting salaries based on inflation, performance and exceptional skill,” he said.

He suggested that the low wages could be singled out for the lack of morale of teachers, which has seen the quality of education dropping among other national issues. 

“We need to start taking teachers seriously through the incentives we award them, the continuous training we make available to them and the facilities we accord them and their students,” he said. Gaolathe said the Government system portrays and treats the workers and Unions of this country as a thorn in the flesh.  He said Government keeps changing laws to muzzle and limit the rights of workers, particularly public servants. 

“The decision to deny public servants salary adjustments and other concessions around working conditions over unreasonable stretches of years cannot be based on reason.

There is an economic fallacy doing the rounds that for a country to develop, it is necessary to ensure that labour costs are kept at a bare minimum. The reality is that

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there is a compelling counter-arguments based on the efficiency wage theory, that labour that feels well appreciated, incentivised and trained will more than compensate based on higher productivity”.

The Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) leader also punched holes at the current Government’s budgeting system that he said lacked transparency and fueled clear-cut corruption.

He said Government’s adventures into populist money-consuming programmes have undermined the long held tradition of rigorous project appraisal and policy formulation approach of the Government. He indicated that this new trend has also resulted in poor budget allocation prioritisation and misalignment of expenditure with intended policy focus.

He said the UDC proposes amendments to the development budget cutting on unnecessary expenditures, which include military aircraft and the Directorate of Intelligence Services. 

“We propose to spend more on housing guarantees, infrastructure (including railways, dual north-south carriageway, high speed internet), technical education/education in general and the establishment of special funds to fund businesses aligned to our economic strategy including a fund to finance the revival of mining in Selebi-Phikwe”. Gaolathe lambasted Matambo’s budget attitude saying it failed to provide performance information on key clusters (diamond, tourism/agriculture and financial/services) Government has invested so much in to drive new engines of economic activity.

He has also urged Government to consider raising the old-age pension to at least P600. Gaolathe said compared to some SADC countries, Botswana is not doing enough to address the problem of poverty and inequality. He indicated that Botswana spends 3.2% of its GDP on social protection programmes while Lesotho spends 4.6% of GDP with a monthly old age pension of R450.

He noted that South Africa  spends 3.4% of GDP on social protection programmes with a monthly old-age pension of R1,350 while Namibia spends 2.8% of GDP on Social protection programmes with a monthly old age pension of R600.

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