14 August 2012
Scarce skills allowance review overdue - DPSM
Director of Public Service Management, Carter Morupisi, has reportedly said there is a need to review the scarce allowance and to come up with a retention strategy. Addressing civil servants in Machaneng last week, Morupisi said he received approximately 10 requests per week because everyone wanted the allowance.
He said the allowance had lost its good intentions over time and thus needed to be reviewed, though doing so was likely to be a difficult task. Morupisi disclosed that government had already spent P278 million to pay industrial workers who were converted to permanent and pensionable, and that P360 million was still needed for the remaining.
MPs threaten litigation over salary increase, p3
……….threaten litigation over salary increase
In a rare show of collective greed, MPs reportedly spoke with one voice against the National Assembly Amendment, saying they matter will end up in court if government does not increase their along related allowance. The basic pay of Members of Parliament will be hiked by 3% by the government, which also increased other emoluments for them.
Two-Year Old Public Service Act To Be Amended
According to this report, only two years after its birth, the tender Public Service Act is to go under the knife. To that end, Trade Unions are being asked to suggest what parts of the Act need to nipped and tucked. In a letter dated July 24,2012 that was delivered to trade unions, Director of Public Service Management, Carter Morupisi, informs trade union leaders that his department is in the process of reviewing the Act in order to align with other national and international labour laws
21 – 27 July
Ministers, MPs may get 13% hike
Public sector unions have reportedly proposed a pyramid style application when salary increment is accepted to ease out the negative impact of the proposed increment. They want the proposed increment to be differentiated and allow it to decrease as the scale goes up. An across the board increment has been castigated in the past because it deepens the salary inequalities.
Public service strike collateral damage, front page
· 556 workers left in the lurch
· Govt. Advocate says decision was in public interest
Three trade unions, Botswana Landboards, Local Authorities and Health Workers Union, Botswana Public Employees’ Union and National Amalgamated Local and Central Government and Parastatal Workers’ Union together with Kefilwe Toteng are reportedly challenging the dismissals of striking essential service workers last year, which left 2934 employees jobless, in court.
Government pays legal costs Unionist’s suspension lifted, p6
Government has reportedly lifted the suspension of the president of the Botswana Land board and Health Workers Union (BLLAWHU), Goretetse Kekgonegile. This was after the two parties reached an out of court settlement.
DPSM chief says his officer misinformed unions
Even though the Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) is optimistic about going back to the drawing board with Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) on May 22, the Federation is reportedly adamant that it will not settle for anything below 20 percent. BOFEPUSU publicity secretary, Goretetse Kekgonegile said that they are still waiting for government to furnish them with documents that would conclude a concrete and informed demand. He added that the salary negotiations for the year 2012 would resume afterwards
BOFEPUSU celebrates achievements, front page
According to this report, Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) on Tuesday urged workers not to falter in their fight for better wages and working conditions, as they continue to garner significant wins against government.
Publicity Secretary Cut Kekgonegile told the audience that they had a number of achievements to celebrate, and had won a majority of the cases that emanated from strike, and prospects of winning the remaining ones are encouraging. He was speaking at the commemoration of Workers Day on Tuesday. In the fifteen cases that BOFEPUSU was saddled with against government, he said that nine members have already been acquitted and discharged from the offences they were facing.
29 April – 5 May
BOFEPUSU Presses For Settlement of Wage Dispute,
Botswana Federation Of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) has reportedly acceded to a request by Directorate of Public Service Management for belated negotiations of the 2012/2013 salary29 April – 5 May increment. After negotiations for a possible salary increment failed late last year, they declared a dispute with the Commissioner of Labour’s office to pave a way for a possible strike action. BOFEPUSU president Masego Mogwera said the Federation is willing to settle the matter outside the labour office but have to follow procedures since the matter is already with the labour office.
Teachers won’t fill leave forms yet – Hlabano, p4
Teachers will reportedly not be required to fill leave forms when schools go on holiday until the issue of hours of work is resolved. Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) wrote to the unions last December saying the two issues were interrelated and hours of work had to be dealt with first
Government to cut down staff, front page (Contd on p3)
· Early Exit Policy coming into effect
· “We’ll do it humanely”- Masisi
Government will reportedly downsize the public service and is now implementing its Early Exit Policy adopted in 2008. Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Mokgweetsi Masisi told Parliament last Friday that comparative indicators had forced them to move swiftly. The indicators suggest that government is failing to make sufficient progress in areas such as the “relatively poor labour market efficiency and technological readiness”.
Masisi also said the rightsizing of the public service will be undertaken in the national interest and not “at the behest of external interest or advice”. He noted that government, as the employer is bound by the Early Exit Policy to work in partnership with relevant stakeholders, including recognised unions as well as the affected employees.
Unions say government is retrenching people, p4
Secretary General of the Amalgamated Central Government workers Union, Johnson Motshwarakgole, has reportedly confirmed that government has written to 1,850 of their members informing them of the decision to retrench them. When asked if the letters say retrenchment or if they say redeployment as the Minister of Presidential Affairs Mokgweetsi Masisi has said, Motshwarakgole said it is not true that they are being redeployed: they are being retrenched as they have not yet received any new posts by the government.
Civil servants that have received letters are mainly council workers and those in the Department of Water Affairs department. Motshwarakgole said government should come out clean and tell the nation that they are retrenching. Asked to comment, Minister Masisi said that he could not comment or confirm that some people had already received such letters.
Fears of poor service delivery as gov’t freezes recruitment, p3
Some council employees have reportedly expressed disappointment at the Ministry of Local Government’s decision to freeze recruitment of public servants, saying it will exacerbate the already poor service delivery in Councils. The decision, which came into effect while key posts are still vacant, has not gone down well with some administrators, who question the logic behind it.
They alleged that many of the vacant posts are critical posts that need to be manned on a daily basis if Batswana are to be served properly.
State withdraws strike charges, front page Contd on p4
The state has reportedly withdrawn charges against 39 Botswana Federation of Public Sector Union (BOFEPUSU) members in the Good Hope region. The 39 public sector workers were accused of disturbing peace at the Ramatlabama border post during the public sector unions’ strike last year, which lasted a record eight weeks
Downsizing will impoverish Batswana- experts, pB1
During the 2012/13 budget speech last week delivered by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning Kenneth Matambo has reportedly urged every ministry to reduce its wage bill by 5% each year for the next five years. He also said outsourcing of non- core activities and freezing of new posts would also be continued
Khama has last laugh, p4… as unions lose lawsuit
Five public unions have reportedly lost the case in which they were suing President Khama and the Attorney General for enacting regulations under the new Public Service Act. The unions argued that the President enacted the regulations relating to hours to work, shift work, weekly rests, public holidays, overtime and paid leave, without consulting them. The unions were ordered to pay the costs of the application.
OP announces Promotions and transfers
GABORONE - President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama has appointed and transferred senior government officials.
A press release from Permanent Secretary to the President, Mr Eric Molale, states that Mrs Festina Bakwena has been appointed Ombudsman.
She will start work on the date of assumption of duty.
Mr Carter Morupisi has been promoted to become the new director of the Directorate of Public Service Management with effect from April 1.
Permanent secretary for Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology is Mr Dikagiso Mokotedi on promotion from April 1.
Mr William Moncho has been re-deployed to the office of the Ombudsman as deputy Ombudsman with immediate effect.
Mr Ulf Soderstrom has been promoted to become deputy permanent secretary for Infrastructure, Science and Technology with effect from April 1.
Mr Kgopotso Ramoroka has been promoted to become deputy permanent secretary, support services, in the Ministry of Education and Skills Development with immediate effect.
Dr Omponye Kereteletswe has been re-deployed as secretary, education reforms, in the Ministry of Education and Skills Development with immediate effect.
Still in the education ministry, Mr Acro Maseko has been promoted to become director for regional operations, Chobe with effect from the date of assumption of duty.
Mr Oupa Masesane has been promoted to become director regional operations in the North East in the Ministry of Education and Skills Development.
Mr Simon Coles has been promoted to become director for basic education and Mr Leonard Muthetho promoted to become director for special support services in the same ministry with immediate effect.
Ms Taboka Nkhwa has been re-deployed as secretary, local government reforms in the Ministry of Local Government with immediate effect.
Bargaining council up and running
The Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) director, Ms Festinah Bakwena, explained in an interview last week that the establishment of the council was delayed by logistical issues.
She said before registration of the bargaining council, the government and the recognised unions decided to set up an interim council whose secretariat was tasked with processing applications from recognised unions to establish if they qualified to be part of the bargaining council.
She said the council was finally registered in October last year, and she was tasked with submitting names of the people who will represent the employer at the council.
"This was not something I could do alone in a short space of time, I had to consult all government structures on who is going to represent the employer in the council," she said.
Unions reject Ministry’s offer, p4
Following nationwide consultation with their members, three teachers unions have reportedly rejected an offer by the Ministry of Educations and Skills Development that teachers resume participation in co-and extra-curricular activities. Instead the unions, at the insistence of their members have elected to wait for cabinet, which is currently in recess to thrash out their hours of work.
Kgotla meetings disregard us-public servants, p3
Public servants in Serowe said Kgotla meetings deny them the opportunity to have an input in government policies as policy implementers. They said this during an address by Serowe North East MP, Ramadeluka Seretse. They praised him for convening a meeting to address stating that Kgotla meetings are usually held while they are at work and only a few people make national decisions. The public servants said double shifts in schools and converting teaching to essential service were decided at a kgotla meeting in their absence.
Unions allege discrimination, p3
· Challenge contract addition for expatriates
Last year’s 35 percent increase of expatriates’ allowance and salaries by the Directorate of Public Service Management’s (DPSM) is reportedly being challenged in court. This publication revealed last year that DPSM made secret salary adjustments, which affected in August.
Though government refuted the Botswana Guardian report, trade unions have now taken the matter to the Lobatse High court demanding some answers. And should the unions win the case non-citizen employees employed by the government will lose a couple of thousands of Pula, which was added onto their salaries.
19 January 2012
Re-employed public servants ditch gov’t, front page (Contd on p2)
President Khama’s reconciliatory efforts of re-employing public servants who were fired after partaking in the public sector strike has reportedly come to naught, as many of them have ditched Botswana to seek employment in neighbouring countries, citing victimization by authorities. Union officials have confirmed that the re-employed public servants are currently at advanced stages of finalizing preparations to relocate to neighbouring countries, where their services seem to be appreciated.
Over the weekend the teachers, together with diamond sorters and those offering veterinary services were reportedly told that from now henceforth they are essential services. The government amended the Trade Dispute Act. “The law has become an ass,” says the writer, adding that to be declared essential service is a curse and a pain as it has become a tool to restrict one’s democratic right to strike and express grievances