As BLLAHWU prepares to meet the Ministry of Local Government on labour issues, the Secretary General, Cde Ketlhalefile Motshegwa shares with the workers some of the contentious points ahead of the meeting.
Lack Of Meetings
There is worry from the long-time taken by the Ministry to convene joint meetings with the union despite persistent initiations by the union. The union has since forwarded a letter requesting for finalisation of schedules of meetings for certainty of such meetings, but that has not been heeded to by management. This highly impedes on the much needed social dialogue to enhance harmonious labour relations, particularly with many issues of employee welfare being unattended to within the ministry.
There is herein request for progress report pertaining to transfers and particularly according to different categories of circumstances of such transfers, such as social background, medical background and how transfer backlog is being addressed.
Clarification On Appropriate Schemes Of Service For Administration Cadre
The union is seeking clarification on the appropriate schemes of service used in this cadre as there seems to be confusion on the schemes of services to be used. For example. in the first appointment, officers are appointed using the 2006 schemes of service ,but in progressing officers they use the 2005 schemes of services.
Furthermore, most of the admin personnel who have been in service for quite some time now, cannot progress to higher positions due the fact that they do not possess the relevant qualifications to progress. We advocate for a special dispensation to train such officers thereby empowering them to compete for higher positions. Here we have observed that for some officers cannot even progress from B2 salary scale to B1 only because they do not have either Basic Administration Certificate or Certificate in Public Admin/human Resources etc.
The issue should be addressed in line with Public Service Management Directive No: 6 of 2008 Ref: DP1/4 V dated 05th May, 2008 whereby progression bars prescribed by the Schemes of Service for artisans and technicians are waived to allow these cadres progression similar to the professional model. Training will also help close up the operational hierarchy vacuum whereby a senior officer is at C1 and the next immediate junior officer is at B band salary scale.
This matter pertains to employees who are owed salary arrears after late compliance to directive no. 3 of 2006. Still on this matter it surface that there is another set of employees who still have not been upgraded to C4 as per the directive as well as the issue of overtime and leave days which has not been addressed.
Training is part of Conditions of Service and welfare of employees. This forms the basis of what the union and the ministry should discuss and have Collective Labour Agreement on. For almost six (6) years the ministry has closed out the union on this important aspect of labour relations, because the ministry was not convening consultative meetings. This then led to unilateral decisions by the ministry, something which is against the spirit of harmonious labour relations and in the epoch of collective bargaining. It is therefore importantly urgent for the ministry to engage with the union for this financial year‘s training plan.
The discussion on training plan should also address the issue of reimbursement of self-trained officers, as well as granting of permission to study to officers who are not in the training plan.
Job Effectivess Description
It is critical for employees to perform their duties under clear guidance of what they are professionally expected to perform. Some cadres had their J.E.Ds done by the ministry at the exclusion of the union, but there have since been no response. In the absence of J.E.Ds avenues have been opened for manipulation of employees and it is difficult for one to design performance development plans in the without clear job description.
Update On Seperation Of Community Development And Social Protection
On or about 2012, the Ministry communicated to the Union that a decision was made to separate the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development so that at the end there is a separate Department of Social Welfare and that of Community Development. The Ministry further indicated that, already there had been appointment of Director (Social Welfare) and Director (Community Development) and thereby clearly demarcating the duties of the two at Directorate of Social Services. Then the next step was to cascade the demarcation at Districts, and it was indicated in the meeting that some Districts such as South East had already implemented such. This approach was meant to ensure progression of the officers with clear path of progression according to the two Departments separately rather than when they are consolidated as one.
We now require for completion of the process of cascading the demarcation at Districts Level for that has not been effecting.
Update With Regard To Adressing Structural Gaps In Cadres
With reference to the DPSM letter dated 20th January 2016, it was indicated
Resurcitation Of Consultative Structures
Briefing on functioning of Consultative structures at localities as their functioning enable for enhanced labour relations by creating forum for Union-management dialogue. The Union is seeking update with regard to the initiative to harmonise interpretation and implementation of directives and savingrams in localities.
Stoppage Of Scarce Skill Of AAt Level 3
Through the savingram LG 1/15 Temp (1), the ministry decided to halt the scarce skill allowance of AAT Level and recovery of the paid allowances. The union now seeks clarity as to what led to the stoppage of this allowance as we believe that the officers with the said qualification are entitled to scarce skill as per DPSM savingram ref: DP 19/96/3 III (32).
Plight Of Recording Cadre/ Council Clerk Their issues are as follows:
Non-implementation of schemes of service for recording Cadre (officers are performing duties of higher responsibility which should be performed by officers at D2 and they are not remunerated for such). Council Clerks are not included in the Ministry’s structure and the line of supervision is not clear. Some are supervised by Council Secretaries while others report to Chief Human Resource and Administration officers or Deputy Council Secretaries (finance & administration). The Human Resource Officers in local authorities are also not conversant with the duties of recording cadres. Council Clerks are not included in the Ministry’s training plan to further their studies. Moreover, it is not clear what qualification is needed for one to be a Council Clerk.
Contaminated State Of Labour Relations And Maladministration At Good Hope Sub District Council
The Sub District of Good Hope is currently mired in poor state of labour relations as a result of bad leadership by the Sub District Management.This has affected cohesion, objectivity and professionalism in the Sub District. There is an ongoing mass harassment, persecution and vilification of employees bordering on bossy style of leadership and acts of maladministration.
There is a pending matter of progression of fire officers, structural gaps, their training and as well as matters pertaining to their psychological attention post attending accidents.
Scarce Skills For Bye-Law Officers
In terms of their job description, Bye Law officers perform prosecutorial duties. This then qualifies them for scarce skills allowance as per the guide lines on scarce skills allowance. We submit that they be paid scarce skills allowance.
Progression Of Secretaries
In 2010 Secretaries were moved from C3 – C2. Other’s progression was delayed and they were consequently moved in 2014. They were told that they could be paid acting allowance from 2010 – 2014 as the service at C2 is deemed to have been on Acting basis. They are lagging behind in terms of notch.
There are also Secretaries who are at C2 while servicing sectional Heads of D2. These Secretaries ought to be at D4 as per the scheme of service.
It is the practise of government that there be signing of performance plans and contracts in the form of PDPs. It is clear that some Councils are not implementing this practice of PDPs, but surprisingly use the lack of them as an impediment for promotion.
Scarce Allowance For Parks Officers
The Public Service Management Directive No. 2 of 2008 states that both architecture and engineering technicians should be paid Attraction and Retention allowance at 15%. Despite the Parks Division falling under the Architecture and Buildings Department, the said allowance has not been paid to its technicians as stated in the Directive. The savingram that was from Ministry of Local Government‘s Establishment Secretary dated 14th December 2009 further stated that professionals and technicians holding Landscape/Architecture/Horticulture/Parks must be paid allowance at 40% and 15% respectively.
Despite this indication, the allowance has not been paid to the deserving officers in the division.
The Attraction and Retention allowance must be paid to Parks Divisions deserving officers as per requirements of both Directive No. 2 2008 and the Local Government Service Management Savingram dated 14th December 2009.
Scarce Skills Allowance: Housing Officers/Technicians
Currently scarce skills allowance is paid to holders of Bachelor of Science in Real Estates/ BA Land reforms and Rural Development/ Btech Land management/ Bachelor of Science Land Economy at the rate of 30%, we are of the view that by extension the same allowance should be paid to Diploma holders too especially those operating under SHHA considering their scarcity since the inception of SHHA program.
Exclusion Of Landfill Officers From Dirty Allowance
The Ministry should consider awarding dirty allowance to all officers who are based at the landfill since they are all exposed to the same environment.