Unions reject govt's position on salaries

Unions have rejected a position paper brought by government regarding Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) Consultancy report.  Mmegi has learnt that government proposed less than 10% increase in salaries for the public service, a proposal the union did not agree to.

The position of the union is that the market pay rate of government must be commensurate with what is offered elsewhere in Southern Africa.  

One of the findings of PEMANDU Consultancy was that Botswana government pays way below the market rate and as such, it recommended a hike of salaries in the public service to equate them with what the market pays by between 10 and 15%. The arrangement is similar to what government did for the armed forces.

Meanwhile, indications are that the unions might hold demonstrations if government maintains its position regarding the percentage increases. According to a source, the proposed agreement usually is agreed upon in a negotiation process. 

“We submitted our proposal to government sometimes back. They submitted theirs last week. The union is ready for engagement but at this time we can’t divulge the contents of our negotiations. It’s against the rules of engagement,” Mogomotsi Motshegwa representing the 6 Cooperating Trade Unions (6CTU) said.

According to a local newspaper, the report provides the progress and status update on PEMANDU Associate’s activity in Botswana from December 2017 up to September 2018 in which their main aim, which they executed, was to conduct preliminary assessments on the areas of remuneration management system.

The report unearthed 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, are 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 grades 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.”

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